Flash Fiction Challenge – Comet

Flash Fiction Challenge: August 16, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a comet. You can consider how it features into a story, influences a character, or creates a mood. Go where the prompt leads.

https://carrotranch.com/2018/08/16/august-16-flash-fiction-challenge/

My contribution:

 

The screen door slams behind them.

She rushes past the little boy. Runs upstairs.

The little girl stays behind.

 

What happened? he asks.

I think she’s scared, the little girl answers, eyes wide.

Someone was spying on us from the woods!

 

They like this new silent mysterious guest.

She stays upstairs. They let her be.

 

Day becomes night.

She crawls from under the bed.

Peeks out the window, eyes scanning left and right.

Nobody out there.

Transfixed by the starry night, she sees it.

A blazing white streak across the sky.

Like from the book.

A comet!

She remembers.

Quote of the Day

We write to taste life twice, in the moment, and in retrospection…We write to be able to transcend our life, to reach beyond it. We write to teach ourselves to speak with others, to record the journey into the labyrinth.”

Anaïs Nin

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Toys

Here is my entry for this week’s challenge hosted by “Dutch goes the Photo.”

https://dutchgoesthephoto.net/2018/08/14/tuesday-photo-challenge-toys/

The theme this week is “Toys”

I believe toys are a crucial piece of childhood. Practice for “real life” and a way to learn and figure out who you are. Toys are serious business!

~~~

Once there was a 4 year old girl who thoroughly enjoyed taking care of her toy buddies – Bears, Monkeys, Little dolls, Big dolls, Bunnies, Doggies. She and her daddy even made chairs for them – painted red with leftover house paint.

Her own child sized chairs, covered with a blanket, provided space for her larger buddies. At mealtime, it was crucial to get everyone ready and in position…for whatever feast she had prepared in a tiny tin roaster pan. Part of a cooking set handed down from her mom. Plastic food and all.

This photo captures one of those times.

1986
Mealtime

This little girl grew up to be a passionate educator…and an excellent cook, baker and party planner. And a mom. Just to name a few of the many destinations her toys led her to.

~~~

Flash Fiction Challenge – Peering from the woods

Flash Fiction Challenge: August 9, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes  an act of “peering from the woods.” Go where the prompt leads.

https://carrotranch.com/2018/08/09/august-9-flash-fiction-challenge/

My contribution:

She likes it here. How the breeze blows her hair as she swings. Back and forth.

The soft sweat pants protect the scabs on her legs.

 

What’s your name? the little boy keeps asking.

But she keeps shaking her head. Silent.

 

The little girl asks Ya wanna swing with me?

She smiles and nods.

 

In mid swing she sees it.

A flash of red. Movement.

In woods across the street.

Foot down scraping grass.

Swing slows. Jumps off. Stares hard.

Fists clench.

 

Someone is peering at her from under a tree.

 

Turning around, she runs.

The little girl follows.

Happy Birthday Grammy

Johnny Eva.

My southern grandmother – who was born and raised in Tennessee – had a boy’s name first and a girl’s name second. But everyone called her Eva. Apparently this was customary at the time (1892) in USA southern states. She had a sister named Jimmy Ruth. Her brother’s name was Creed.

Johnny Eva was Grammy to me – my paternal grandmother. As a child, I was somewhat mystified by her. She had very long dark wavy hair – almost down to her waist. I’d sit and watch her comb it out, coil it up and then secure it with combs or clips. I never knew another older person with such long hair. Not one for makeup and frills, she wore sensible dresses and sensible shoes. We had that in common.

I only saw her sporadically when I was growing up because she lived in Ohio and we lived on the east coast. After my grandfather Papa died unexpectedly in 1964, Grammy would come and live with us for a month or 2 several times a year.  She didn’t always have alot to say, but she’d look over your shoulder to see what you were doing and comment. (As I recall, this did not go over well with my mother!) An excellent seamstress, she repaired anything that needed mending…and sewed dress-up dresses for my sister and me. And fancy clothes for our baby dolls and Barbies.

She loved to watch The Lawrence Welk Show on TV and rarely missed it. Frugal to a fault sometimes, she would insist on buying day-old produce and bread when she went grocery shopping with my mother – even if the quality was poor.  She was always generous with her family though; slipping me a few dollars when she thought I needed it. I never took advantage of this; but it was comforting to know that she “had my back” – and her help was always offered without judgement…an unspoken underlying connection between us.

Grammy012
Grammy and me

I often wonder now if she had some undiscovered underlying medical issues. She would often disappear into her bedroom to “rest a spell” during the day. I also suspect she may have suffered a level of chronic depression that only worsened after Papa died. I often sensed a real melancholy about her.

When I told her I was pregnant with my son – our second child – her reaction was…”why? why bring another child into this terrible world?” Needless to say, that’s not the kind of congratulations I was expecting; but I was not altogether surprised and I wasn’t upset with her. Unfortunately she passed away the week after he was born, at the age of 95.

Grammy013
Grammy and me

I had forgotten how much she kept in touch with me.

In my treasure trove of letters I have found dozens from her. I don’t think she went to school after the 8th grade, but her letters were full of detail & vivid descriptions. And, most importantly to my childhood self, full of genuine interest in and love for me.

She wrote the following letter 2 years after Papa died, when I was 12. It was near Thanksgiving. She was staying in her childhood home, where her sister was still living in Tennessee. Apparently with no heat.

grammy letter 1966 pg 1

grammy letter 1966 pg2
From Grammy – age 74

 

It was expensive to make long distance phone calls when I was a child, so letter writing was the only way to stay in touch.  And I am so grateful she did.

Growing up – and into her adulthood years – she loved to go fishing.

It’s August 9th…Happy Birthday Grammy!

Grammy014
Johnny Eva aka Grammy