Glad Tidings of Nymble

Nymble didn’t stand so much as gently flit above the waving grass, the first of the season’s signs of change. Leaning back as much as her grass and sunlight mote companions; she drank the deep, fresh air.

“Spring,” she whispered. She breathed.

A smile tickled her dimples. It pushed at her mouth-corners. As she looked out and over the gathered folk and fae, the smile spread to every feature of her pointed face. She grinned and opened her arms to hold the warm sun from toe to wing tip.

Atop the eminent rise, she addressed the expectant crowd. “SPRING!”

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Announced for Carrot Ranch‘s writing prompt.

March 26, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that uses the word eminence. It’s a rich word full of different meanings. Explore how it sounds or how you might play with it. Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by April 2, 2019. Use the comment section below to share, read and be social. You may leave a link, pingback or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form.  Rules & Guidelines.

 

Photo Credit:
Image by jhx13 from Pixabay

Mystery Blogger Awarded

Thanks to Beckie of Beckie’s Mental Masterfulness for nominating me last week; and on my birthday, no less!

Here are my answers to Beckie’s awesome queries:

  1. Do you collect something, if so, what?
    I just might have a problem collecting books. Yes, I can quit when I -okay; no, no I can’t.

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    may have more than this.

  2. Other than writing, do you have any other hobbies or activities that you enjoy?
    I am a mother and housewife (and regular wife, and taxi, and….) “other than writing.” *Sigh* As such, my other hobbies need to fit between the cracks. They include reading, running, camping, and artsing.
  3. What is your most embarrassing moment in public?
    I puked on several kids at our choir concert in fifth grade.
  4. If you had your choice of sleeping on a bed of nails or eating chocolate covered ants, which would you choose, and why?
    I seriously think this question needs more parameters. I mean; if I only had to sleep on the nail bed for ten seconds, that’d be fine. If I only had to try one ant, that would also be fine.
    Mostly I don’t think I would be able to sleep on nails or chew insects.

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    Cute; but, UGH!

  5. What is your worse pet-peeve?
    I’ve been thinking about this one. My worst pet-peeve is people being selfish, especially at the expense of others. Seriously, people, have some manners if you can’t have empathy.

Some of my favorite posts I giggled to myself over include “Encounter in the Alley,” “Silent but Tardy,” “Everlore,” “My Muse,” and “A Spoonful of Limericks.”

Any stragglers-on to my blog know I’m not a huge fan of this chain mail thing, so my nominees are more a list of blogs I follow that I highly recommend you all check out. If they want to answer the questions, more power to them.

Len of Len’s Daily Diary. Brilliant mind, touching observations, and excellent story-teller.

Treeshallow Musings. She’s a gifted poet and word-painter.

Geoff. If you haven’t read Mr. LePard yet, that may be better for your health.

H.R.R. Gorman. Also an excellent writer; delving into a little sci-fi, a little horror, a little fun.

Beverly Hughes. One of my favorite people. She writes moving and insightful posts about mental illness and her journeyings.

Official Nominees: you may choose to answer my questions:

  • Is there anything chocolate cannot solve?
  • Are fabric softeners really effective?
  • Who is your favorite Disney princess?
  • Which storybook villain would always win a limerick competition?
  • If you could vote for anyone to be leader of your respective country, who would it be and why wouldn’t it be Girl Scout Tagalong cookies?

If interested, here are the rules and such:

Rules:

  1. Put the award logo/image on your blog.
  2. List the rules.
  3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link back to their blog.
  4. Answer the 5 questions from the blogger who nominated you.
  5. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.
  6. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  7. You have to nominate 10 – 20 people.
  8. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.
  9. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify).
  10. Share a link to your best post(s).

Photo Credits:
Susan Yin
mi_shots

The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Welcome to The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest, Episode 20.

If you’re new or need directions; read my how-to on terrible poetry. Although I sometimes choose a winner who wrote about terrible things; what I seek above all is terrible meter, satirical tropes, and other poetic clichés.

Here are the specifics for this week:

  1. This week’s Topic is Springtime Haiku. I gave a brief tutorial in haiku back at Contest #3.
  2. Since it’s haiku, you all know the Length is roughly a syllabic 5-7-5.
  3. Haiku doesn’t Rhyme. Do it, and you just might have nothing happen since this contest is about breaking rules.
  4. Our #1 Rule that is always listed at #4 is to make it terrible. Since I witness haiku getting butchered all the time, you’re not likely to have trouble making yours cringe-worthy.
    Just in case you need the motivation, however, I’d like your ode to nature to
    Force quiv’ring blossoms
    To shiver downy snowflake stuff
    In terror of you
  5. Japanese poet-masters are rarely pushing boundaries. Keep things G-rated or gentler.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (April 5) to submit a poem.

If you are shy, use the form. Leave me a comment saying that you did as well, just to be certain. That way, I will be able to tell you whether I received it.

For a more social experience, include your poem or a link to it in the comments.

Have fun!

 

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Photo credit:
michael podger

WINNER of the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

I look forward to this contest every week. I smile, laugh, feel slightly ill; then realize that I only get to choose ONE entry as winner.

Today, that winner is Joanne the Geek.

For You My Love

by joanne the geek

I love you so much, even with all my heart

but you can’t find any love for me at all

but with you I could still never bear to part

I’ll poison you and keep you stuffed in my hall

–♥–♥–♥–♥–

Congratulations, Joanne! You are the most terrible poet of the week!

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: the competition every week is stiff. Most of the times I judge, I find myself drawn to three or four poems. After that, I have to search deep within them to suss out small details or turns of phrase that can set the poem apart and above the others.

This week; mostly everyone killed it with horrible rhymes, nailed awful story arcs, berated my poetic sensibilities with twisted romance, and left me gasping at an overall terribleness. Joanne’s poem did all that; plus I appreciated her ending. The meter and message left me hanging, wondering Wait -what? What did my love say to me? Short, sweet, pointed, terrible. Good job.

If I had a second prize to give, at least five of the following would tie for it. The rhymes, the messages, the “love…” You guys are amazing:

Take My Arm

by Trent McDonald

I really, really want to be your guy
I would rip out my heart for you
Chop of my head

Sure, an expensive gift I could buy
But parts of me are exclusive, there are few
Take too many and I’ll be dead

Well, actually I don’t want to die
Would ripping out my spleen do?
chop off a finger instead?

I hope you didn’t enjoy this poem 😉

—–

Yowza

by Peregrine Arc

Hello babe, I saw you from afar
I drove by in my shiny new Mustang car.
I smiled, flicked my bangs back just so
James Dean had nothing on me, as you know.
You smiled shyly, like the angel you are
And then your boyfriend leaned over to kiss the car.
“Here’s a twenty, thanks for bringing it around.
No scratches, I see. Safe and sound.”
I got out, handed over the keys
And scratched off a number on my valet receipt.
I could only stare as the tires went round
And hope the police would order an impound.

—–

One More Chance For The Unrequited Lover

by Bladud Fleas

So, the flowers I sent you
weren’t that fantastic
bought at a filling station
and made out of plastic
and you said plastic is bad for the planet
and I wrote on the card, “to my Jane”
when your name’s actually Janet
does it really mean I won’t get a kiss?
why should it mean you’ll give it a miss?

—–

Candy

by Doug

Why did you stand me up, my Dove,
Oh Dear Candy of June days, my Love
you misunderstood my allusion to
Ogden Nash day who used to say,
“Candy is dandy
but liquor is quicker.”

You are a diamond in the rough,
Is a diamond ring enough?

—–

Artificial Love

by Geoff

The Roses were red
Not that it mattered
Cos like my poor heart
With their rejection you shattered
Them both.

You blanked me all day
My life you are blighting
By coldly ignoring
The genuine plighting
Of my troth.

Do you think I’m too small
Could my voice be sexier
Just tell me your needs
And I’ll meet them forever
Your loving
Alexa…

—–

to lucy westenra i’m watching you

by count vlad dracula tepes

though you grew up on some farms
how could i resist your charms?

you may be only nineteen
and i five hundred thirteen

but thats fine with me you see
because im not so picky.

ill kill that doctor you love
and wear his skin like a glove.

then youll love me forever
no betrayal whatsoever.

—–

Be Bee Been Not to Be

by Doug

I’m not a “has-been”!
Love me in the now
now, now, now-ish

“har været” is a Danish,
a été is French
è stato is Italian
I’m a stallion immense
dense as a cloud now

—–

Why did you not?

by Ruth Scribbles

Oh my darlin’, oh my sweet
I loved you, yes, complete(ly)

You looked around me
Why? I beg you, gee!

My nose never dripped snot
I didn’t smell of rot

Was I too tall, ugly, or thin
What could I have done
To reign you in?

But now that we’re grown
And I’ve matured a bunch
I escaped a hell of a life
I now know that much!

Stay out of my dreams
You now make me scream
-with delight

Forever,
never yours

—–

Trying to Love You

by Michael B. Fishman

I sent you a puppy to show you my love.
You turned the poor thing into a first baseman’s glove.

I sent you a kitten to show you I care.
You shaved the poor thing so it had no more hair.

I sent you a toy, a cute Barbie doll.
You melted it by dunking her in raw alcohol.

I sent you a dove to show you my passion.
You sent me his bones after eating him with an Old Fashioned.

I walked to your door hoping for a dialogue.
You said some strange words and turned me into a frog.

I hopped on back home and got lost in St. Paul.
I called you on the phone but you didn’t answer my call.

I hopped back to your door hoping that you’d put me back.
You said more strange words and gave me a bad panic attack.

I begged you to slow down my speeding heartbeat.
You said more strange words and poof – I was a parakeet.

I flew around in circles and was chirping in tones.
You muttered something about a skull and crossbones.

I perched on your screen door feeling frustrated.
You said go away or you’ll find yourself castrated.

I asked if you’d turn me back into a human.
You said, “What’s the middle name of Harry S. Truman?”

I said, “I don’t know, may I have another question?”
You just stood there staring with an odd facial expression.

I said, “Please restore me and I’ll leave you alone.”
You said more strange words and I was in a NASA space cone.

I said, “Bring me back please and you won’t see me again.
You muttered something under your breath that sounded like, “Amen”.

I was back down on earth and I said, “Can I ask one last question?”
You said, “Only if you want to see more magical aggression.”

I thought that I didn’t so instead I just said, “Bye.”
You just looked at me harshly with one squinted eye.

I walked down her sidewalk and turned ‘round the bend.
And that’s where my story of unrequited love comes to an end.

Then I stopped and made just one quick backward glance.
You shouted, “Keep going. You don’t have a chance.”

—–

Your Love Haunts Me

by Doug

I’d die for your sultry voice,
for an answer to my last missive.

I loved you at the mountain venue:
drums and guitar on cliff in blue

I loved the oblivion in your voice, your
devouring sorrow and sudden run.

If only you could have loved me
I’d have loved you too, a bump
to have jumped with you

Come haunt me and
I will love your ghost
at the bottom of the cliff.

—–

let me in

by Violet Lentz

she lurks just
outside my window.
from the shadows
she implores,
“let me in.”
-eyes so wide,
so innocent.
she taps lightly
on the pane
and whispers,
“i’m scared.”
“let me in.”

she lurks just
outside my window.
it should be so easy
to just open it,
and let her in..
but instead,
i draw the blind
so i can’t see her
i write poems,
i paint with words,
and i pretend.

that the scared,
little child
just outside
my window
is not me-
i don’t long,
to let her in.

—–

If You Duck Love, How Will You Swim?

by Doug

Once we played ping-pong in the rain
following the arrows to Reign Park, and

I know you loved
the pitter-patter of rain
although too

Cupid’s ping pang pain of love
rolled off you like
rain off a duck’s back

I don’t walk like a duck though
and you’re a beautiful swan

—–

One Soul

by Härzenwort

Even if your silence weren’t quite so loud

If you didn’t wear it like a shroud

This pain of yours would still be mine

I counted seven, eight and nine

Ten on a scale from one to none

One soul, one life, what’s done is done

Beyond the count of time are these our fears

Under and above a show of tears

For in this sleep of life what dreams may come

Must give us pause: there’s the respect

No purpose, no cause. Yet each other we affect

One soul, one life, what’s done is done

Ten on a scale from one to none

I count to seven, eight and nine

This pain of yours is also mine

I only wish you wouldn’t wear it like a shroud

That your silence weren’t quite so loud

—–

Thanks, again, to all who entered! Tune in tomorrow for next week’s prompt.

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Joanne: D. Wallace Peach created this graphic that you can use (if you want) for a badge of honor as the winner:

The Cure for Depression: Help Someone Else

Today on Curing Depression, I’d like to discuss service.

You may wonder why this is its own item. When I initially listed it with 10 other suggestions, I felt fairly confident in the decision. As I went to type this article tonight, however, I had my doubts. Topics like seeing a counselor or psychiatrist and taking medication are real shoe-ins for curing. Service, though? I mean, what the weird?!

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Odd as the topic may be, I actually have some beefy research that serving helps. Many church websites or volunteer organizations like to post evidence (’cause they want unpaid workers). BUT, the less-ulterior-motive types at Harvard Health, The American Psychosomatic Society, and even TIME magazine list benefits as well.

Turns out there’s something real about serving others, something that definitely helps combat a depressive mindset.

Still don’t believe me? Did you even read my links? The legitimate sources want you to pay a subscription to find out about helping people, but they’re referenced on other sites. The coolest thing I learned was that benefits of service are not merely observed. Service causes literal changes in brain activity, in positive areas.

When someone in need receives help, he or she benefits directly from the social support; simultaneously, the giver benefits in specific brain regions associated with stress, reward, and caregiving (Psychology Today).

The group that published for The American Psychosomatic Society used neuroimaging to measure differences in specific neurobiological areas. Translation: research dudes watched parts of the brain respond to giving or receiving. They measured change, and to which areas, and what the heck that actually meant in practice.

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Isn’t that cool? Service was associated with reduced stress-related activity, greater reward-related activity, and greater caregiver-related activity.

Okay -science lesson done. I am now going to convince you that people are worth serving.

Ummmm.

Does anyone want to fence this one? I don’t always get along with people.

Anyone?

Zut.

All right, let’s try a different approach. What would you want a friend or relative to do for you? Do you wish someone would text you? Look at you? Help move a washer/dryer combo to your new apartment?

People are selfish. Their world and everything that is most important revolves around them. They aren’t smart enough to see that others might want help, so we’re going to take the first step.

Let’s hold off on the washer/dryer combo and start simple. Start small -remember? Pick someone on your contacts list and send them a nice message. Don’t just “wave” with the little emoticon or say you like their hair or smile. This isn’t junior high. Write that you were thinking about them and wondered how they’re doing. Keep it light, airy, and small-talkish.

Did you do it? How do you feel? Better? Try another person.

After messaging or texting or talking to a few peeps, you may find approaching humans to be less daunting. You may even find yourself looking forward to interactions. You may simply like the feeling you got when one of them texted back, and even wrote a smiley face. That was your seeing the mental benefit of service.

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Service Idea Two: Give a handmade present away. If you’re still firmly in the not liking people camp, think of this as a way to show off.

Actually, scratch that. You’ll fire up different brain areas with a prideful mindset.

So think of someone you want to do a nice thing for, and then try to figure out if they like anything you could make. Honestly, if making’s too tricky or embarrassing, go for buying him/her food. Make sure the recipient doesn’t have allergies to chocolate chip cookies, then proceed with the merrymaking and present-bestowing.

Service Idea Three: move that washer/dryer. Hopefully, the appliance only stands as an analogy. Real friends usually ask for rides, a last-minute babysitter, a spare power drill, a cup of flour, etc. Avoid moochers, of course, but be the one who’s willing to help a good friend out.

After this point, service tends to fall into more serious categories. I’m talking serving at a soup kitchen, flying out of country to vaccinate native children, offering pro-bono work to homeless fathers seeking custody, or volunteering to build houses for homeless people.

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If you are struggling with mental illness, such large ideas of helping will overwhelm you. You need to start with simple.

Thinking about others and actually doing things for them is a healthy brain-changing exercise. There’s sciency proof, “I feel better” proof, and civic improvement proof. Service also gets you out of yourself. And since the negative thoughts of depression fester when allowed private time in our minds, service redirects our focus to a cause greater than our own perceived limitations.

Service gets us out of our pit and connecting with others.

Our human connections are terribly important. I even listed connection as the first cure for depression. The best connections are forged when groups work together in service, especially in a giver/receiver setups.

In parting; don’t get discouraged. Don’t tell yourself you can’t possibly do one more thing with your busy life. You can, because there are small things (like sending the text) that you can slip in your schedule while eating breakfast, riding the train, or sitting in a bathroom. No matter how small a service you perform, you’ve made the world a better place to live and have helped your depression that much more.

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Photo Credits:
Mike Wilson
Pixabay
rawpixel
Greyson Joralemon
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*Chelsea Owens is not a licensed anything, except a Class D driver in her home state, and shares all information and advice from personal experience and research.

Where IS My Mind?

“With your feet in the air and your head on the ground…”

Most of my day is spent in trying to avoid reality. Through the combined efforts of little sleep and little to stimulate my brain, I’ve successfully dodged true feelings and their accompanying pains for years. Through the added repressive means of modern technology and instant entertainment, I’ve created a virtual mindspace that is more alive than my physical one.

“Your head will collapse / But there’s nothing in it…”

Since entering the world of blogging; and, especially, the community of mental illness support, I’ve learned some terms for what I do: numbing, depersonalization, and (above all) disassociation.

“And you’ll ask yourself: Where is my mind?”

In the beginning, I entered the mind fog willingly. -So I thought. Depressed, repressed, lonely, and mind-numbingly bored at my day-to-day activities; I sought constant distraction.

“Try this trick and spin it…”

I thought numbing was better. In some ways, it was; it is. Because I felt nothing, I did not lash out in anger from the frustrations. Because I felt nothing, I could not feel disappointment. Because I felt nothing, I could not feel the crippling sadness.

“Where is my mind?”

Except that I still could.

“Where is my mind?”

As such, I have made various attempts to kind-of, sort-of climb out of my muddy hole. I read Brené Brown’s recommendations, followed her advice …and really offended a neighbor by being myself. I started counseling and some hormone therapy …then reverted back to old habits and dropped the hormones so that I wouldn’t accidentally birth a hermaphrodite.

Most of my days are spent in trying to avoid reality. On the rare occasions that I surface, life feels like the restaurant scene in “Sherlock Holmes” (2009). Unlike the genius that is Holmes, however; I do not note and absorb everyone’s mistresses, limps, or chalk spots. Instead, I feel overstimulated by emotions; in particular, everyone’s emotional reactions to me.

I also feel overwhelmed at the repetitive cycle of life, and the prospect of more of the same for the foreseeable future.

Do I want my mind awake? I’m not so sure. There doesn’t seem much to wake to. Hence, the continued withdrawal and disassociation.

“Where is my mind?” Somewhere inside. Probably.

Do you experience similar non-feelings? Have you, in the past, and now you do not? Is reality worth the cost?

—————-

On a happier note, here’s what I threw together this week:
Wednesday, March 20: Me and me debated who has it harder in “THE Battle of the Sexes.”

Thursday, March 21: “The Cure for Depression: Simply, Joy,” a suggestion in a series originally posted over at The Bipolar Writer Mental Health Blog.

Friday, March 22: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Doug!

Saturday, March 23: Announced the 19th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is Unrequited Love. PLEASE ENTER!
I also finally wrote up an entry for The Annual Bloggers Bash Competition, “Silent but Tardy.”

Sunday, March 24: “Farmer Henry,” a flash fiction piece for Carrot Ranch’s writing prompt.

Monday, March 25: An inspirational quote by Dieter F. Uchtdorf.

Tuesday, March 26: “Wilhelmina Winters, Eighty-Seven.”

Wednesday, March 27: Today.

I also wrote stuff at my motherhood site; like “Pinterest Mom or Sane Parent?,” “A Very Unmerry Birthday to You,” and a funny quote about mothers.

 

*Credit to the Pixies’ amazing song, “Where Is My Mind?”

Wilhelmina Winters, Eighty-Seven

As Reagan near-dragged Wil out of the art room and down the hallway of classrooms and lockers, Wil couldn’t help but recall Art’s tease that their helpful friend was “domineering.” She tried to get a word in, or at least a trailing sneaker. “Reagan, I-”

Drag.

“But, wait! I-”

“No time, Wil!” Yank.

Wil might have found herself in a helpless twist of clothes and backpack at the lunchroom door if, at the exact moment they passed the office, her captor had not looked back to reprimand Wil’s sluggishness. As such, neither girl anticipated the collision with the exiting boy.

“Ouch!” he said. “What the- Wil!

Wil saw Reagan’s impending curse die on her lips. “Harrison?” she said instead.

Harrison’s face clouded into a scowl. He turned to face Reagan; both she and Wil noticed his bandaged hands.

“Oh,” Reagan said. “Sorry.”

He shrugged a bit, and then had to readjust the folder and book in his arms. His face still scowled. “I don’t mind the burn.” He glanced at Wil, especially at her own, small bandages. “It’s the name.” As he saw understanding cross Reagan’s face, he said, “I’m ‘Harry.’

He turned back to Wil without waiting for a response. He smiled at her. “Hey! D’ya have my phone?”

Wil blinked to recover from his abrupt manner. She was still processing that they’d crashed and that she was not still being pulled. Her eyes focused on the white, bandaged hands before her; traveled up to Harrison’s -Harry’s- face. He had an expectant expression. He’d asked her a question, something about a phone…

“Oh!” Wil said, blushing. “Yeah! I just realized I still had it, but couldn’t remember your name-”

“Harry,” Harry said.

Wil blushed more, if possible. “Right; yeah.”

He stood, still expectant.

“Oh! The phone!” Wil tried to grab for it with her bandaged hand, causing Harry to try to help her, but they both stopped when they realized neither could grasp it.

“Erm, Reagan?” Wil asked. She looked at her friend, but Reagan seemed a little lost. She seemed to be watching something near Harry’s face, or near his startlingly-blue eyes. Wil tried again. “Reagan!”

“Hm- Yeah?” her former captor turned to Wil.

“Uh.” Wil wasn’t accustomed to a speechless Reagan, though she didn’t know the girl very well yet. Maybe her carpool neighbor was sarcastic and talkative with their lunchtime group but not anywhere else. “Could you get Harry’s phone out of my pocket and give it to him?”

Reagan blinked.

“Please?” Harry asked. His tone sounded nicer than before, but still impatient.

Reagan looked back at his eyes; nodded. She reached forward, extracted the cell phone, then gingerly slid it into the side pocket he offered.

“Thanks.” he told her. Smiling a white flash of teeth at Wil, he added, “And thank you, Wil.” He laughed. “Now, I’m gonna try to eat. See ya!” He pushed past the gaping Reagan and a few other teenagers milling around the area and headed down the stairs to the lunchroom.

Wil sighed in relief. “Well, I’m glad I got his phone back. I didn’t even know his name!” She started walking toward the stairs as well; Reagan followed. “He seems like kind of a jerk, though,” she observed.

“Who, Harriso- Harry?” Reagan sounded surprised.

 

Continued from Eighty-Six.
Keep reading to Eighty-Eight.

Farmer Henry

Liza’s dad waited ‘nside the barn; toe tappin’, scowl deepenin’. Where was that girl? He’d sent ‘er ten minutes ago ‘n hadn’t seen hide nor hair since.

“Uhmmmooobreuhhh,” lowed Maybelle.

He patted the cow. “I know, girl. I know.”

Right as ‘e settled on fetchin’ ‘is daughter, a glimpse a somethin’ yeller showed in the winder. Shore ‘nough, ’twas Liza. She weren’t movin’ fast, which perplexed the farmer.

“Liza!” he holler’d. “Whatcha dallyin’ fer?”

Sniffin’ and silent, she showed ‘im what she’d bin sent after.

“Why,” her father ‘sclaimed, “There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza. A hole!”

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Fetched and carried for Carrot Ranch’s writing prompt.

March 21, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that features a bucket of water. What is the condition of the water and what is the bucket for? Drop deep into the well and draw from where the prompt leads!

Respond by March 26, 2019. Use the comment section below to share, read and be social. You may leave a link, pingback or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form.  Rules & Guidelines.

Silent but Tardy

Stan heard his door’s assailant before the knocking; a shush-shush against the cement leading to his flat. He rose; walked; opened; stared. There, upon his stoop, was Death himself.

“Er,” Stan managed. What does one say to Death?

In what should have been an anticipated reaction, Stan’s guest only stared.

Stan scuffed a foot against his carpet. He bit his lip. Swung his arms.

Death still stared.

“So….” Stan tried. “May I help you?”

A nod. Silence.

Stan hadn’t thought Death would be so awkward. *Ahem* “How so?”

Impossible as it seemed; Stan knew, somehow, that his somber companion frowned in thought. Death reached a skeletal hand from draping cloak-sleeve to internal robe and withdrew a scrap of parchment. Hand and paper extended toward Stan.

Stan received the paper; declined the hand. Stan Dubrough, 17:00, he read. His palms felt chill and his body followed right after. Both jumped at Death’s bony finger, tapping to point at the name. His name: Stan Dubrough.

“That’s-” Stan squeaked. “That’s me.”

His guest’s other hand appeared from near the door-post. It gripped an awful, glinting scythe.

“The time’s not right, though,” Stan said, as though observing the weather.

The scythe paused. Stan sensed confusion. He also, inexplicably, recalled his mother’s exasperated reprimand, “Always a stickler for accuracy, aren’t you, Stan?”

Death stared. Asking.

“It says ’17:00,’ right?”

A slow nod.

“And, that’s 5 p.m.; yes?”

Nod.

“Well,” Stan concluded in a cheery tone, “It’s now going on 6.” He chuckled a bit till he recalled who his visitor was, and then wisely swallowed. “Hm; yes. Thing is: you’re a bit late.”

If a dark-cloaked being without voice could look gobsmacked, Death did. Without a word, he extended his non-scythe hand. Stan returned the paper and watched it disappear within the cloak folds. Then, just as silently, Death and his scythe turned and left.

Stan listened to the shush-shush of departure turn the corner before shutting his door. Returning to his couch seat, another of his mother’s oft-spoken sayings came to mind: “Stan, you’re so bent on being right you’d tell Death himself if he were late.”

“Well, mum,” he said, looking to the urn atop his mantel, “Looks like you were right after all.”

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Submitted, at the last, for The 2019 Bloggers Bash Competition.

 

Photo Credit:
Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay