Those Who Knew Her

She hadn’t expected a fanfare, nor a parade. Like most who pass through life, she’d thought those who knew her would attend: Mr. Partridge, her under-neighbor; Mrs. Tolk with the annoying parrot next-door; even cranky Mr. Ky, who delivered her groceries.

“None of them,” she said in a church whisper.

As the pastor’s words echoed round the empty room, she felt an empty hand pat her incorporeal arm. One other soul attended. “I’m sorry,” Clarence commiserated. He gave her a smile.

Miss Wonderly murmured, “Thank you,” softly as before and sat down on the edge of the chair’s wooden seat.

20190716_134142

100 words for Kristian’s 50 Word Thursday Prompt.

Miss Wonderly murmured, “Thank you,” softly as before and sat down on the edge of the chair’s wooden seat.” – The Maltese Falcon – Dashiell Hammett.

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

How to Win Friends and …Nevermind

I am not very good at making friends.

Or, maybe I am and don’t know it.

Reassuring people on places like Facebook (who do not stay to talk long in person) tell me that everyone feels the way I do. They say that they like me and, no, I do not have a smell or an annoying habit or whatever.

Then, as I said, they don’t hang around.

I think, in fact, they are wrong about their assertions. -Though not about the smell. I shower and deodorize and even use girly-spritz most days.- I think I do have an annoying habit and I am a whatever.

My annoying habit is that I am socially defunct and that I kind of want to be. Whilst simultaneously envying the cluster of blonde-dyed women who have all had Botox and wear Size 4 or lower, I also …well, you see what I do. I judge. I think it even shows in my face because what’s internal becomes external for me. No, I am not a good poker player.

attractive-bags-beautiful-1778412

What I am not sure about is whether this envy/judging plays a part in my other behaviors or if I am just trying to ‘be me’ (another terrible suggestion). In this case, I refer to my discussing subjects that are more interesting than whoever is pretending to be The Bachelor or what piece of whitewashed antique barnwood Joanna Gaines is using this week.

Further, I am not sure if I eschew things like barnwood because of my fierce desire to be unique and, most definitely, not ever be classified as a typical woman; or if I really don’t like those things.

Some times I go to social functions and feel things are going well. I listen to a willing woman’s life stories and, occasionally, am able to broach a more advanced topic. More than once when this happened, my conversation partner remarked, “You’re a deep thinker.”

Deep thinker? Does that make them a shallow thinker? A not-thinker?

There I go being judgy again. I guess I just need to turn that off. Or, start watching more shows about bachelors.

Are you a social butterfly? An outcast? A ‘deep thinker?’ What do you think about The Mystery of Socializing?

—–

I can small talk. I’ll start with my week in review:
Wednesday, January 9: “A Tree Falls in a Forest; Does the Reader Hear It?,” a post about a little stream, or maybe a metaphor.
Thursday, January 10: “Skinwalkers, XLVIII.” The End of Skinwalkers, at least on here. The story was taking way too long for everything I wanted to do, so I figured I’d stop boring everyone with it.
Friday, January 11: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congrats to a new contender, M.K.M.
Saturday, January 12: Announced the ninth Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. Write a limerick and share it!
Also, “Directions from a Druid,” in response to D. Wallace Peach‘s picture prompt.
Sunday, January 13: “Bio-Enrichment,” my flash fiction conversation for Carrot Ranch.
Monday, January 14: “Wilhelmina Winters, Seventy-Nine.”
Also, “What Do You Do All Day?” at my mothering blog.
Tuesday, January 15: Inspirational quote from a song written by Charlie Chaplin.
Wednesday, January 16: Today!

Boo the Ghost

Boo the Ghost shivered in the doorway of the old, dark house. His job was to haunt it all night.

His friend, Wally the Werewolf, scrambled by. “Hey, Boo! Come howl with me.”

“Sorry,” Boo said. “I can’t.”

Next, Freddy the Frankenstein stomped past. “Hey, Boo! Come moan with me!”

“Sorry,” Boo said. “I can’t.”

Wilma the Witch flew by with her cauldron. “Hi, Boo! Why don’t you come fly?”

“Sorry,” Boo said. “I can’t fly, either.”

All of Boo’s friends looked at each other. “Then,” they said, “WE will come to you.”

And they all haunted the house together.

spirit-1775547_1280

 

Made with the help of all my invisible friends for Susanna Leonard Hill’s Halloweensie Contest.

What do YOU Wish For?

“I wish to be a famous dancer!”

“I wanna be a millionaire!”

“I want to build the world’s first robotic house!”

They all turned to their silent friend.

“What do you wish for, Chelsea?”

“I can’t tell.”

Shrugging, they watched the comet pass, carrying their wishes. It would return in ten years’ time, granting them what they had asked.

Carly would be a dancer.

Tanner would be rich.

Edward would be building robots.

And Chelsea? She didn’t know. How could the comet possibly turn her into a cosmic fairy able to soar through the night sky as it did?

nick-owuor-astro_nic-757202-unsplash

Carrot Ranch Literary Society Prompt

The World Through Prismatic Glasses

“When I grow up,”
I say
From too-tall counters, unfair portions, summer bedtimes.

When I grow up,
I hope
For friends, a car, no one ever telling me, “No.”

When I grow up,
I think
Promises will be kept, rules followed; the world blacks and whites.

 

Grown up,
I see
Crumb-filled countertops, imperfect pieces, little sleep.

Grown up
I wish
For friends, fewer expenses, parents’ good advice.

Grown up
I learn
People are human, rules bend; the world….

Is rainbowed

I take a crayon and draw my mind:
Greening forest,
Glittering sky,
And a yellow tent,

Glowing from within.

cindy-chen-161349-unsplash

Carrot Ranch Literary Society Prompt
Cindy Chen

Keep on Giving

baking-biscuit-biscuits-302462

I mixed a batch of cookies, with extra sweets and fat.

I rolled, and baked, and shaped them all; then cooled them on the mat.

Then, frosting-armed, I painted scenes of swirls and stripes and spots;

Remembering your favorite, I added polka dots.

The strangest thing then happened, I’m sure that you’ll agree:

One by one, those cookies ended up inside of me.

But as I sat and typed this note, hand pausing over “Send,”

I realized stealing calories makes me the best of friends.

Wilhelmina Winters, Forty-Seven

The deep, depressing bell toll still echoed in the cold cement-lined world outside when Wil pushed out of Mr. G.’s cubicle. He’d released them early, for him, which had granted the class a thirty second head start.

She walked down metal stairs and headed toward the main building. Quick, solid footsteps replaced the reflected sounds of the bell. Wil turned to see Art coming after her. Although he’d made amusing faces at her every time she’d accidentally -or, increasingly, intentionally- looked back at him, Wil had forgotten about him once excused from class.

“Hey, Wil,” he said amiably, once he joined her. He walked with her as if they had always walked together. Wil marveled at the sensation of friendship, of being sought out.

“What do you think about the group assignment?” He asked.

“Oh,” Wil replied. She’d also forgotten about that. She was so accustomed to no one volunteering to work with her, that she had mentally written off worrying about it. Mr. G. would attach her to some unwilling group once he asked which group everyone was in at the next class period.

“We could be in a group,” Art said. He glanced at her face, then added, “It would be convenient since we’re in the same class. I could get the two guys by me to work with us, too.”

“Okay; if you’re sure,” Wil replied, hestitantly. She knew Art was intelligent and very interested in History. She didn’t want to let him down by naturally being the opposite of him in those areas.

Art laughed. Wil liked his laugh.

“Don’t worry!” He said. “I think it will be fun.”

They reached the door. He pulled it open for her, with a flourish. “Lady deWinter,” he formally announced, while bowing.

Wil laughed, then scuttled into the building quickly. He caught up to her again. They walked through the crowded school, amidst the hubbub of end-of-day socializing.

“So, m’lady,” Art continued, “Have you any ideas for the project?”

Wil thought, then blushed. “I don’t remember the topic, actually. Sorry.” She was sorry. Unless she wrote things down, or cared about them, she usually forgot.

“Ah,” Art said. “I may need to re-think this group, then.” Wil looked at him in panic, but saw that he was grinning in a teasing way.

He stuck his right hand over his heart and intoned deeply, “The topic is Famous Battles of the American Revolution.”

He and Wil reached a hallway juncture. His locker was down to the left, while hers was to the right. Art waved to Wil, then started down his hall.

She saw him stop, turn, then walk a few steps backward as he called, “Think about it, WIL you?”

 

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

Wilhelmina Winters: Forty

Wil read carefully, constantly admiring the neat printing. The paper read:

Talented Teenagers (“We need to work on the name, still,” Reagan interjected.)

Derek: Leader, Everyone’s Friend, Song Lyrics, Double-Jointed

Stephen: Penmanship, Cryptography, Cartography, Comic Artist, Observant,

Reagan: Actress, Sarcastic, Quick-Thinking, Fantastically Well-Dressed

Hope: Kind, Artistic, Quiet, Quick

Art: Intelligent, Funny, Easy-Going, Cooking

Wil: Good Writer, Imaginative

Art laughed his infectious chuckle again. “We suggested talents, and voted on them -except Reagan insisted on her last one. I still say we need to put ‘Domineering’ as one of hers.”

Wil wondered if he would poke so much fun at Reagan if he were sitting closer to her at the table. Even though she only had access to the lunchroom cutlery, Reagan looked a good aim.

“Why- ?” Wil began. She looked up from the list in embarrassment, not knowing how to finish her question.

“We all agreed to the talents Stephen wrote for you,” Reagan explained, understanding. “You get to suggest others, and then demonstrate them.” She stuffed some lunch into her mouth and gave Wil an encouraging look as she chewed.

“Actually,” Stephen spoke up in a nasally tone, “This is a work in progress. What we really want,” his eyes became dreamy and distant, “are talents that I am going to draw into a comic.” Suddenly realizing all attention was on him, he looked down again. “We’ll be like superheroes,” he told his food tray, less audibly.

Reagan rolled her eyes again. She was also talented at that, though Wil doubted it would get added to the list.

“Just think about it,” Derek told Wil. Wil gulped, which helped move what she had consumed to her stomach.

The rest of the group, satisfied with their explanations, continued to eat and talk among themselves. Wil read over the official roster and thought about what had been said.

She stared at her name, wondering how imagination counted as a talent, and whether any others would follow in Stephen’s neat print.

 

Continued from Thirty-Nine.
Keep reading to Forty-One.

 

Want to start at the very beginning? It’s a very good place to start.