Fairy Tale Ending [Repost]

ice cream sprinkles

We sat on the sunporch, though it was after midnight. They usually didn’t arrive until after two am, but it was impossible to rest, knowing they were coming. So we didn’t rest. We gathered in skimpy clothing, because it was so very hot overnight. The men were bare chested, shiny with sweat and the women wore tank tops glued by the heat to their bodies.

We played Yahtzee. It was the only game that did not incite physical fights. It was the perfect blend of luck and skill… you could not justifiably kill a person because of the random numbers on the dice.

The children ate ice cream in the kitchen. We didn’t force them to bed at the children’s time because it could be their last hour, too. They had sprinkles to put on their ice cream, if they wanted, and chocolate milk. It would be their best last night, if that’s the way it turned out.

I went to the doorway and looked out at the night. It was so beautiful it made me miss a heartbeat; deep, intense and fragrant, with moonlight shining through the lush and tiny leaves of the trees, shimmering like light upon the water.

My parents and grandparents were dead. It was pointless to lay blame with them. They thought everything would work out. They had the optimism of deniers. They chose not to see what covered them like a blanket. They chose to be blind. They dreamed of a lush and welcoming world for their children, and lived on faith.

They were criminally wrong.

When the things came, a little earlier than 2 am, the screens held for a long time. They had no evil intent; they were trying to survive, just as we were.

It was breathlessly frightening, listening to them trying to breach the screens. At those moments I thought of my parents and grandparents who could have laid out a different path for us. They knew about beauty and caring and value and wisdom, but not about survival, not about reality.

I want to say they were misled, or lied to, or simply not aware.

But they knew. And now our children put sprinkles on their ice cream, before they died.


  • Original prompt: Screen, March 6, 2016

 

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Running with Friends

Prompt: Age

leonardo_dicaprio-gt

 

Leep looked in the mirror. Now, he didn’t like looking in the mirror as a rule, except when he was shaving, and even then he merely concentrated on the contours of his cheek and the avoidance of a blood accident. But today was his birthday, a landmark birthday, and he needed to have the courage to look.

There were lines around his eyes. He could see them without even moving closer to the glass; and they couldn’t be laugh lines, since Leep didn’t laugh all that much. And there were deep lines around his mouth when he just relaxed the muscles in his face. Was his neck a bit saggy? Leep didn’t know. He was pretty sure, however, that Leonardo DiCaprio didn’t have a neck like his, bordering on saggy.

The problem was, Leep was no closer to marriage than he had been a year ago, or two years ago, or even three. He didn’t even have a girlfriend. He’d been pretending that those dinners and lunches with his publisher, Amanda, were dates. That’s what he told the guys at work, if they asked. But she wasn’t interested in Leep as a person, just as a potential children’s book author, which really, was fine with Leep.

As for Lizzie (known as Beth to everyone else), well, driving by her house once a week in a test driven automobile, or dropping off clippings about her murdered son-in-law as an excuse to see her, or hanging out with Franco the Butcher just because he happened to be at her house a lot, did not exactly constitute a romantic relationship.

He checked his Mark Nepo. “Stop recording the poetry of life,” he advised in his book, “and enter the poetry of life.”

That sounded like good advice.

But Leep didn’t know where the entrance was.

So he got out his notebook, and wrote:

Step 1: Date
Step 2: Girlfriend
Step 3: Wedding
Step 4: Children

It didn’t sound very poetic, but these were concrete steps towards entering life the way other people did.

This is why Leep found himself, on his landmark birthday, in front of his HP laptop at the dining room table, with a lukewarm bottle of Twin Sails Hefeweizen on a cardboard coaster beside the computer, trying to fill out the profile information on the website “Plenty of Fish in the Sea”.

He was a writer, this shouldn’t be so hard. Though he had to admit that composing a list of interests that would intrigue a young woman was far removed from recording the adventures of the Blue Rabbit. Or was it?

Favourite food: Carrots
Favourite leisure activitis: Running with friends; digging tunnels
Best feature: Ears

Yes, this could work! Leep smiled and rubbed his jaw, and suddenly realized he’d forgotten to shave that morning. He would go without this day. He’d had enough of the mirror.

Living My Life

Prompt: Foggy


Oh, Wednesday,

This is our family reunion weekend, so I am spinning in circles trying to get ready. Spring was so late that summer, and this weekend, crept up on me!

Fog rhymes with dog. That’s all I got. Please enjoy a few of my favourite rather odd dog cartoons:

cartoon dog more in life


cartoon dog cat


cartoon dog cat smell


…Running to make another list, while pausing to hug my own dog,

~~FP

Relish and Day 6

Prompt: Relish

calvin-hobbes-food-relish

Hobbes was a wise tiger, whose advice was: Truly experience and relish and have fun with everything you do in life.

Hard to do, of course, because we are all so “uptight” about our duties and responsibilities. I was thinking about alcohol and drugs, and how what they really do for us is to break down barriers, allow us to feel what we feel and to express what has never been expressed, and that somehow our day to day lives inhibit our freedom to enjoy without thought of consequence.

Writing allows that kind of exhilarating freedom. One thing about NaNoWriMo and the relentless demand for 1600 words per day, is that you just write, you get the words on the page, and sometimes the immediacy takes you on an unexpected journey of discovery. (And, there is no hangover.)

Here’s to Day 6 of Nano, which I have so far neglected, but might attack with relish once I can relax and focus.

My life and times? No, thanks.

Prompt: This Is Your Life
If you could read a book containing all that has happened and will ever happen in your life, would you? If you choose to read it, you must read it cover to cover.

late bloomer

My life. Hmm.

There is a lot I would love to relive, much I would like to relive and react differently, and a fair bit I would not want to repeat or be reminded about.

Would love to relive: the travel times. Never feel quite so alive as when I am entranced and challenged by a new place or culture. Yet I don’t travel any more.

Relive and react differently: a lot of my 20’s. I was a late bloomer, and should have figured out most of the confusing stuff by my early 20s. But I was just coming into my own then, feeling my power, and making tons of mistakes, inadvertently, and not always acting wisely.

Would not want to repeat or be reminded about: my early high school years. Nightmarish. Ugly, awkward, grossly shy, gangly, poor, and friendless.

This book would presumably contain details of my future. While there are undoubtedly things to look forward to, losing people is not one of them.

So, thanks, but I think I’ll pass on the book. Which doesn’t mean it won’t be a best seller.