Malcolm, Mildred, Jason and Joy

Had to share this Friday Fictioneers piece. A mind-bender for sure…at least for this often clueless senior…
………hugmamma.

me.you.coffee

Malcolm and Mildred had lived here for years. At first just a house, they’d eventually made it their home.

Mildred was pregnant, and if history (and the size of her tummy) were anything to go by, she was pregnant with septuplets. At this stage in proceedings Malcolm had taken on the role of hunter-gatherer. Every morning he’d be up early scratching around, looking for items that would sustain his ever-growing family. Lately things had been quiet. Times were tough.

Jason and Joy had lived here for years. At first it was their home, but the rat problem had become intolerable.


This piece was submitted as part of Friday Fictioneers, hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. 1 photograph. 100 words. Over 120 people taking part. And hey, if you still can’t get enough – why not check out my almost-FREE eBook, People Watching. US link here, UK link there.

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friday fictioneers:…trespassers, beware!

Copyright - Danny Bowman

Madame Pele is said to make Kilauea Iki her home.

So when you walk this terrain, know that you are trespassing upon sacred land.

All may seem quiet, but just beneath the surface she rumbles and groans her displeasure at being contained. 

Hawaiians know better than to disregard Pele’s ferocity.

Her anger can quickly explode into fiery bursts of magma which kills all in its path.

If you let it, the stillness will lull you into daydreaming.

Beware.

The goddess of fire surrounds you.

You trespass at your own risk.

I’ve been there.

There I remain.

One with my ancestors.    

write on edge: it takes two to make an accident

Contrary to what F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote “It takes two to make an accident,” my daughter and her car were fully equipped to make the unfortunate happen without anyone else lifting a hand, or in this case, driving a car.

After a long, arduous day of dance rehearsals, my daughter got together with some friends to unwind from their very physical jobs. Eight hours as a dancer running through choreography time and time again can be wearing on the brain as well as the body. So a glass or two of wine can go a long way in numbing the mind and the muscles.

Unfortunately, alcohol and sleep do not mix well unless you can fall right into your bed.

On the way home from getting together with her friends, my daughter must have nodded off for a few seconds when she was nearing her apartment. Her car slammed into a car parked alongside the right-hand curb. The impact frightened the heck out of her, and brought occupants of the nearby house running to see what caused all the racket.

At 11 p.m. on a quiet, charming, tree-lined street everyone was probably getting ready for bed. Accidents were a rare occurrence. While not overly-wide the roads were a decent size, allowing for parking on either side with ample room for passing cars. It’s more than likely then that my daughter’s running into a parked car was THE event of the month. The neighborhood was probably abuzz with what transpired for some time to come.

From what my daughter told my husband and me hours later, the aftermath of the accident seemed to unfold in slow motion.

The owner of the car hit by my daughter’s car was not even in town. His girlfriend was minding it while he was away. Imagine her hysteria over her boyfriend’s smashed-in automobile? Evidently, her mom had to calm her fears as well as my daughter’s. A huge task for any mother. And one for which I’m still very grateful. I wished I could have been there to offer some comfort as well.

My daughter called 911 to report the accident. More than an hour-and-a-half later, the police arrived. In the interim she had called her boyfriend to keep her company. With feet bare and wearing only a ti shirt, he showed up minutes later and stood with her on the sidewalk in the cold, night air. Had they known how long the police would take to arrive, perhaps the kindly mom would have corralled everyone inside her warm house. Who knows? I can only speculate what I MIGHT have done under similar circumstances.

Because she had just gotten her driver’s license months before, my daughter was obviously devastated. Besides feeling badly for those directly involved, she felt tremendous guilt about having abused our trust in her living on her own 3,000 miles away. Only nineteen at the time, my daughter was striving to live like a grownup. In her estimation, she had failed.

After taking care of the details with the police, our daughter returned to her apartment with her boyfriend. With him by her side, she called us at 2 a.m. Of course, we awoke to the phone ringing with heightened trepidation. All parents fear the worst when their teenagers are not at home, whether they’re in the same city or thousands of miles away. More quiet than normal and with great sadness in her voice, my daughter revealed what had happened.

My daughter has a tendency to judge herself and deliver the verdict before we even know she’s on trial. She’s struggled with this dilemma since she was a child. Perhaps it’s something she has in common with many children who feel their parents are perfect, never committing any crimes themselves. We’ve since set her straight. Nobody’s perfect.

After listening to her, I quietly explained to my daughter that our concern was primarily with her safety and that of others. Our stress level diminished considerably upon learning that she was fine, and that no one else was involved. The insurance would pay for damages to both cars. Shedding a few tears of relief, my daughter handed the phone off to her boyfriend who thanked my husband and me for understanding the situation. He explained that were he the one calling his parents about causing the accident, they might have bawled him out. It made me feel good knowing that I got something right as a parent.

The next day and for several days afterwards, my daughter had to handle all the issues concerning the accident. She had to communicate with the insurance company to have her car towed, to contract for a rental car, to have repairs to the other car paid, and so on. All the while she was trying to heal her psyche of her self-inflicted wounds. It took some time for our reassuring words to settle in permanently. Quite some time.

Experiencing her first accident propelled my daughter forward into becoming an adult. There was no turning back after that. For obvious reasons her boyfriend was able to pick up where they left off before the accident. He demanded her undivided attention once he felt she’d had sufficient time to brood about what had happened. Unable to give herself entirely over to his needs, my daughter began to realize that she could no longer give herself over to partying like a teen any longer. The accident was her rite of passage.

Now 27, my daughter has weathered other life-altering experiences, some good, some not-so-good. With each she’s grown in her personal and professional life. All the while I’ve looked on with more than a little interest as her doting mom. And as such, I’ve learned a thing or two about myself, and about parenting a child.

It doesn’t always “take two to make an accident,” but it does take two to forge a great relationship. Parenting my daughter has taught me the fine art of stepping back so that she can… 

…own her own life…

………hugmamma.IMG_4744

(I had written this as an entry for write on edge, but unfortunately missed the deadline by one day. I thought you might still enjoy reading it.)

friday fictioneers: catching jimmy

Copyright - David Stewart

I love playing tag with the boys on the playground. I can outrun most of them.

I like catching Jimmy. He’s cute. I’ve got a crush on him. I think he likes me, but I’m not sure. He seems to like the girly girls. Yuck! They’re always batting their eyelids, and fixing their hair, and smoothing their dresses. Why can’t he see that I’m prettier, and faster than all of them put together? 

Oh, well. I like chasing the other guys around too. Jimmy can wait. I’m having too much fun.

Heck! That dumb bell’s ringing. Recess is over.

“Coming!!!”

friday fictioneers: cinderella’s glass slipper

Copyright - Dawn M. Miller

As I was growing up, our small, $26 a month rental was jam-packed with mis-matched, second-hand furnishings.

On Saturdays, I was Cinderella.

Dusting, polishing, and rearranging others’ cast offs very likely contributed to my love of vintage items.

However it wasn’t until my husband and I moved to New York’s Long Island in the 70s, that I realized my passion for antiques. It was probably triggered by our first major auction purchase, a massive, oak roll top desk.

Now a dinosaur, the roll top reminds us of the loving craftsmanship  rarely seen nowadays.

Builds character. Saves the earth.

Poverty’s silver lining…old stuff. 

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friday fictioneers: no happily-ever-after

Copyright -Claire Fuller

As a toddler I loved burrowing into the freshly laundered clothes in the large crates.  Since they’d been drying in the sunshine, I felt warm and cozy as I fell asleep.

The world was perfect, but not for my widowed mom.

On her feet all day, mom washed, dried, and ironed clothes for an orphanage. Removing her shoes, she’d stand on the cool, concrete floor.  Unfortunately, she developed varicose veins and, worse, arthritis in both knees.

Mom needed rescuing. Mr. Chalmers, the handsome gardener, seemed made-to-order.

Unlike Cinderella,  mom never married her prince charming. No fairy tale ending for her.IMG_4143

friday fictioneers: light my way

Copyright - Erin Leary

Like a beacon in a world gone dark

your love shines bright

leading me back from the edge of despair.

Without you

where would I be?

Committed to an asylum?

Or worse…

buried six feet under.

Don’t ever leave my side, 

even if I push you away

a thousand times and more.

Keep telling me I deserve you,

that I’m worth your love.

The shadows recede

as the light of your love

fills the cracks of a heart that was broken.

Mine.

Cherish me always.

Warm me. 

Show me the way to daylight again.

Like a flower

I will bloom.cropped-img_2034.jpg

friday fictioneers: first love…forever love

Copyright- Jean L. Hays

A tiny hand tucked securely into a larger one.

Adoring eyes glancing upwards at the love of her life.

Smiling at him as he gazes down at her, eyes wrinkling at the corners.

Fun times together, whether raking autumn leaves or gliding down snowy slopes.

Favorite outings were always visits to aquariums. 

Barking seals. Playful penguins. Floating jellyfish. Jumping dolphins. 

Dancing seahorses, mini ones clinging to giant kelp in underwater forests.

Hot dogs and cotton candy for two hungry landlubbers.

Weary arms hugging his head as her little body lay draped about his neck.

Pops…and Pumpkin Pie…then, now, and always.

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friday fictioneers: seeing is believing…or is it?

Copyright - Adam Ickes

I was 7 when I learned Uncle Noah’s secret.

I’d come down to the dock to be alone. Time to myself during a family reunion that could suffocate.

Uncle Noah and I were loners. Perhaps that’s why he never married.

Although he fathered no children, they were always drawn to my uncle, myself included.

That fateful day I wandered off, hoping to catch some fish about which I could later boast.

Rounding the hedge of giant spruces, I gasped at what my eyes beheld.

Uncle Noah’s boots stood empty.

A sleigh drawn by reindeer was pirating him away.

Ho, ho, ho!!!

friday fictioneers: a man for the ages

Copyright -Randy Mazie

A man the likes of which we’d not seen in a long time sat behind those walls.

Praying and hoping his fellow countrymen would do the right thing.

Too long, his people denied the same rights and freedoms as whites.

An age old problem since Gandhi sought to end the oppression of Indians in South Africa, and elsewhere in the British Empire, nonviolently.

Aggressive and militant when he entered prison.

Twenty-seven years later, Nelson Mandela emerged a changed man.

Practicing peace among men, he was awarded the Nobel Prize.

Bougainvillea from the barren earth grew.

Mandela bloomed.

Flourishing.

At peace.

English: Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, Gaute...

friday fictioneers: barbara cartland

Copyright - Ted Strutz

With heart pounding, Annalise watched for the dock where handsome Schuyler would be waiting.

How long had it been since they last locked lips? Too long, it seemed.

Would they drive at break-neck speed to Thistle Inn and make mad, passionate love? Or would they prolong the inevitable, lingering over  drinks at the cafe?

His cologne. Obsession. His eyes. Glassy pools of aquamarine. His hair. Corn silk. His body. Hugh Jackman. His mouth. Succulent.

“If he doesn’t propose, I will!” conspired Annalise. “Ha, ha. I’ll sweep him off his size 11 feet!”

“Another best seller for my sex-starved housewives!” exclaimed Barbara.

friday fictioneers: narcissus, 2009

Copyright - Sean Fallon

Fragmented life. Fragmented man.

Lost. Not found.

Wife? Children?

Misery. 

Broken. Shredded. Suicide.

Consuming greed. Never enough. 

Power bestowed. Correction. Power grasped. 

Narcissus incarnate.

Deals brokered. Ruthlessly. Invisibly.

Laws broken.

Hangers on. Bought. Sold.

 Feeding frenzy. Shark bait.

No guilt.

Booze. Drugs. Mindless pleasure. 

Back alleys. Dark doorways. Blackmails. Pay offs. 

A man without a soul passes through this world, his body parts in disarray. 

Dead inside.

His environment having no impact except to amuse.

Heartbreak for she who fell for this empty shell.

And his sons.

Bernie Madoff

Forgotten.

Victims.

Struggling. Still.

Narcissus

Narcissus (Photo credit: pogobee)

six word story challenge: film

Escapism at its best…or worst.

My preference…always oldies, but goodies.

Sunny, light, fun…dark, chilling, scary.

Something you put into a camera.

Sex sells sinful, slimy, silly stories.

What’s acting these days? Being yourself.IMG_5134

…give me the good ole days!…

………hugmamma.

friday fictioneers: fantasy?

Copyright-Al Forbes

Hurrying up the stairs of Beckwith Hall Michelle glanced upwards at the sculpted head peering out over the campus. A recurring thought ran through her cluttered mind.”I’ve seen that face somewhere. I know I have. But where?”

The heavy door slammed behind her, as Michelle began wending her way down the crowded corridor. Surrounded on all sides by the droning of voices, her thoughts were lost in the din.

Scrambling for a seat in Greek Mythology, Michelle plopped into the first one available. Taking a deep breath, she turned and saw that face staring into hers.

“It’s you!” 

He smiled mischievously.IMG_2911