Although the feeling all around was a melancholy mood The policy of folks like me was fastidious and good The swell of hope I felt that day diminished in a flash While standing on the center lane, no barriers to dash The happiness just slipped away to crush my vivid dream Like oil on a flabby piece of skin in need of cream Luck would have it no one else here seemed to see me cry Except for one lone shaming man, I felt like I would die. I tried to turn but felt real stuck with sorrow and some pain Jumping now would do no good, there wasn’t any gain. So here I stood aside the man, a standstill in my head Realizing my day was done, so I left and went to bed.
Before I could make a colossal mistake I went to my laboratory wondering just what to make I thought of achievements and those of my kids I looked for recognition in everything they did. Listlessly sitting under long bright white lights a milestone reminded me of a time of a fright A leopard had lumbered its way in my head A display of lactation while I lay in my bed Sort of a nuance the vision soon cleared and I realized my daughter was where I most feared. Alone in the kitchen with only the cats Lapping up milk and softly giving them pats I leapt out of bed and threw on my clothes Reminded I thankfully washed the floor, I suppose. Forgetting the mess and only laughter ensued Thought my jovial reputation was what I couldn’t out-do
For the visually challenged writer, the photo is of an elderly lady with a look of concentration on her face. Her arms are stretched out in front of her and she’s holding a camera in her hands attempting to take a photo with it.
Come on you nincompoop, I said to smile. What the heck is wrong with you? Your lips turn to stone?
Bethel, will you give me a minute to think here.
What the heck is there to think about? You turn your lips up and voila you have a smile. Now hold still so I can get this picture.
Bethel, you don’t understand me.
Aw, that’s all you ever say. Bethel, you don’t understand me. Bethel, you don’t listen to me. Bethel, you don’t cook my favorite foods…
Okay, okay. Here, how is this? (Bernard turns and pulls down his pants to show her a full moon)
Dirty old man is what you are! Now turn around and smile!
Milly had dared Bernadette to do it and she couldn’t believe that her best friend went through with it! The day before Bernadette was telling Milly how in love she was with Brandon. “If you’re so in love, Juliet, why don’t you show it at the drive-in tomorrow night!” “What?!?! You want me to prove my love at the drive-in? That is disgusting. There is no way I am taking off any of my clothing in the back seat of Brandon’s car, let alone anyone’s car. If we do it it’s going to be in a bed. Jeez, Milly! I can’t believe you would even want me doing it in public like that!” “Bernie, that isn’t what I meant! I meant, drag Brandon up onto the platform and kiss him in front of all the cars. I’ll be there with Jack and who knows who else will be there! Are you afraid your mom might be there?” “Milly, first of all, my mom doesn’t do drive-in movies. Second, I’ll take the dare! I think it will be fun to get up. there. I just have to hope that Brandon will go along with it.” “Well, just prove that you made your greatest effort and I will give you credit! But, you really have to try and convince him.”
Later that night, as the movie began to play, Milly, who was sitting with her head resting on Jack’s shoulder, sat up abruptly! “Oh my God! She is doing it!” “Doing what, Mill?” “I dared Bernadette to drag Brandon onto the platform and kiss him in front of the whole drive-in theater and she is doing it! Aw, look how cute they both are!” “I’d have done it,” Jack responded. “Well, I know that. It wouldn’t have been much of a dare. I would definitely do it! Maybe we should surprise the crowd and get up there too.” “Let’s not and say we did. Give them the limelight for now. I’m happy with kissing you right here.”
For the visually challenged writer, the photo is of an older couple sitting on a park bench on the top of hill overlooking a blue sky with fluffy white clouds. Next to them on their left are two electric bicycles. Also, that is not Fandango and his wife! Lol!
Martin, what do you think is in store for us now? I don’t know Elaine? Isn’t that a bit of a deep question after an exhausting bike ride up here? Well, I just thought I would ask. Being tired makes me think of stuff like that. Like what? Like the meaning of life. Our purpose. Setting out to do what we are supposed to while we are here on earth. I know I’ve done what I was supposed to do. Now I’m done. Why do you think I bought an electric bike? I’m tired of working so hard. Well Marianne said Walter still wants to get a lot of his bucket list checked off. My bucket is empty Elaine. It’s been empty and I’m leaving it empty. You see that cloud over there? Which one? The one that looks like a boat? No, the other one, next to it. I don’t see anything in that shape, what do you see? Nothing! More of nothing and that makes me so happy! Now let’s go home.
Trevor walked through the park. He knew many of the guests would cringe once they saw what he was holding but he did this to show people that not all snakes are dangerous or gross. He could understand the fear, since fear of the unknown typically overrules. Snakes aren’t something people see everyday or are around. If you see a snake it is usually because you are out gardening or hiking and that is not what you are anticipating. Trevor knew all this and tried to teach the public that snakes were nothing to be afraid of.
As he walked, Trevor could hear the children squealing and the parents gasping as he held the snakes head to everyone to see. What they didn’t know was that Betsy, the python, was a people watcher herself and loved to see all the people ducking and jumping when they saw her. Betsy loved Trevor and was so happy to have him to walk her safely through the zoo without being squished by pedestrians or worse, zoo buggies full of food for the other animals. She couldn’t imagine her body bouncing back after being totally flattened. Because of Trevor, Betsy could be at ease and do her people watching silently.
The photo below was provided by fellow blogger Li @ Tao Talk. Thanks, Li.
Marcus found the pieces from when he was a kid. He knew he had buried them in the yard but he never believed he would still be living here to find them. What had he been thinking back then? That someone would discover them and think of them as a treasure? All he knew now was that if he wanted to preserve what was now a vintage toy, he had better clean them up and get all that dirt off them. Luckily plastic doesn’t dissolve!
He threw the pieces into a bowl of soapy water to let them soak. He had left them there overnight, knowing plastic doesn’t do anything but sit in water, no damage would be done. By morning he took the pieces out, dried them with a paper towel, then threw them onto the pile of stuff he had on the kitchen table.
Like soldiers in a battlefield looking for mines, the soldiers he tossed onto the table were diligently looking for pressure points to use in a foot massage. Marcus laughed to himself. They probably needed a good foot massage after all the work they did in the service. Kids didn’t know what it took to be in the service and they didn’t understand that massage isn’t just a quick karate chop to the back.
Looking down at the toys now Marcus wondered if those old army men could remember being buried as a treasure. They were still sort of a treasure to Marcus; they had been a gift from his mother.
Fandango offers us this photo from Erean @ Morguefile.com for his flash fiction challenge this week. For the visually challenged writer, the image shows the silhouette of a woman on a stage, provocatively posed sitting on a chair with the starry night sky behind her and also reflected on the stage floor.
This is a poem even though this is a flash fiction challenge. I mean it is ficticious.
If I lay my head back with my neck to the sky will you come here and hold me, keep hold while I cry? I need you to be here no matter what time Your love means so much now, your love is sublime.
As he stood before the doors he pondered his options. There were more doors than usual and given his last trip through he wanted to make sure he chose the right one this time. His mind went back to the last door…
I remember opening the green door. I chose green on that particular day because the trees were full of new grown leaves, the grass was freshly cut giving it a greenish glow, and the world around me seemed alive. I didn’t know at that time that green wasn’t the door for living and thriving, it was the door for rotting and spoiled, for mold upon the top of the leftovers from last week. But I had gone not knowing this. I had gone thinking of positive things and life and love. I thank God I had that positive energy, otherwise I could have been stuck there forever.
When I opened the green door last time I was greeted with an odor, an indistinct odor that I couldn’t place right away. I let the door close softly behind me as I looked down the path that was waiting for me. It was a long path and there wasn’t much around it, not like the blue door, not like the purple door either. But it was the door I chose so I would move forward.
As I walked along I could hear the soft mewing of a cat wanting to be fed and I could hear the sucking sound of a baby nursing a bottle full of warm milk. Those were pleasant sounds, I had nothing to worry about. But as I rounded the corner, unable to see more than a few steps ahead of me, I noticed the figure, the woman in a dark green cloak, her back to me.
She was a petite woman, much shorter than I. She was facing a counter, a sort of kitchen counter, where bottles were lined up ready for filling. As I walked closer I could hear her crying, softly sobbing, and wondered why. I didn’t want to startle the woman so I cleared my throat to alert her of my presence. She lifted her head slightly but did not turn around. Instead she continued to cry softly.
When I finally reached the woman I could smell the sourness of milk, the rotting smell of old food, and then strangely mixed in, the soft smell of baby powder, tenderly spread upon a clean babys’ bottom. I wanted to turn away in disgust but instead I stepped closer, looking over her shoulder. It was there that I saw where the smell was coming from…
The woman was holding a large carafe. In it was a large green growth, closely resembling lichen on an old dead tree. Below the carafe, in the sink she stood against, were more baby bottles, all filled with a green liquid.
“I can’t feed my baby this poison, this filth, but I have nothing else and he is almost done with my milk.”
That must have been the suckling sound I had heard.
“My baby will die here if I cannot feed him.”
“Why is the milk so spoiled?” I asked.
“Because I can’t find any fresh milk and this is all I have”, she replied.
Taking the carafe from her hand I tried pouring out the milk from below the mossy growth. The milk poured slowly, but with a pure white color, a miracle considering the top of the bowl.
“Here is the fresh milk”, I said.
The woman turned to me, her crying had subsided. What I saw was horror. This woman, this mother, she was a monster! The flesh on her face was as hard and green as the moss on a mountain stone. Her teeth were black and her lips were cracked with dry blood.
I turned and ran as fast as I could, pounding my feet on the path, not wanting to look back, not knowing if she was following me or not. As I came closer to the green door I felt some peace and my fear turned to sadness. I came to a stop at the opening and heard a soft song being sung. It was her. She was singing a sweet song to her baby, telling the baby he would always be okay. The singing continued, softly, gently. I breathed a sigh of relief. I would be able to get out of this horrible place but I also knew I had saved that little life. I don’t know what happened before I got there and I surely didn’t want to know what would happen once I left but I knew I had done the right thing.
Reaching for the knob he hesitated. Why was he picking this orange door? What did orange make him think of? What horror would orange be connected to? He took this moment to think, think hard about his uncertainty. Orange was a pumpkin in fall, waiting to be carved and lit by a candle. Orange was fresh fruit and vegetables on a summer morning. He couldn’t think of anything that could go wrong with this door. He guessed he would have to take his chances.
He grabbed the knob and turned it, slowly pushing the door open.