The Girl with the Twinkling Eyes

FlashNano a challenge to write 30 stories in 30 days with a daily story prompt.

FlashNano Day 6: Write a story inspired by this picture

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Sarah and I were best friends – unlike me, she was perfect. Her hair was chestnut brown like the mane of a horse and it sparkled in the sunlight. My hair didn’t sparkle.

In the summer of my youth we’d lay out in my backyard listening to Top 40’s music on a transistor radio. I miss the scratchy sound of a transistor radio, sometimes clarity isn’t such a good thing. Sarah never got a sunburn, she turned the color of golden honey. I burned.

Sarah’s eyes were an iridescent green, they twinkled when she laughed. I did everything in my power to make her laugh just to see them twinkle. My eyes are brown, they don’t twinkle.

Sarah and I talked for hours and when I was sad she listened. When my parents divorced, Sarah was there immediately. She sat next to me on the curb and let me cry. Reaching into her pocket she pulled out two pieces of chalk and handed one to me.

“From now on when we’re sad or lonely, let’s write,” she’d said.

And she started writing on the sidewalk. Her letters were big and swirly. I tried to copy her swirly letters, but my letters didn’t swirl. But, I did write.

One day my mom came outside when Sarah and I were writing on the sidewalk and she snapped, “What are you doing out here by yourself scribbling all over the sidewalk? Clean that up and get inside.”

Sarah left that day, her chestnut mane and twinkling eyes were gone. I never saw her again.

Sometimes clarity isn’t such a good thing.

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Damaged Goods

FlashNano a challenge to write 30 stories in 30 days with a daily story prompt.

FlashNano Day 5: Write a story that takes place on Saturday

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🎶Saturday in the park, I think it was the Fourth of July…🎶

“Can you pull the blinds, the sun hurts my eyes?”

“Of course, how are you feeling today… I mean, considering… nevermind…stupid question, I’ll just shut the blinds,” the orderly headed towards the door, “I’m sorry, I’m new…”

“It’s fine, I’m fine,” she watched the young man leave the room and released the sheets she’d been clutching between her fingers. Her heartbeat began to regulate. Letting out a breath, “I’m fine”.

🎶People dancing, people laughing, a man selling ice cream… 🎶

The nurse came in, head down reading her chart and then looked up with a warm smile. “Still have a headache? I can give you –,”

“I’m fine.”

🎶Saturday in the park, I think it was the Fourth of July…🎶

“Please, turn that song off.”

Turning off the little radio, the nurse turned back to her, “There’s an officer here to speak to you, about your — incident… if you’re up to it now.”

“I-Is it a man or woman… the officer, I mean?” She asked.

The nurse touched her hand lightly, “A woman.”

“Ok,” taking another deep breath, “Ok, I’m fine”.

“She’s right outside, she’ll be in momentarily.”

Body still aching, she ran her finger gently over her swollen split lip and down to her throat where the chain had been digging in for days.

“I’m fine,” she said to the empty room and waited.

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A Most Cherished Prize

FlashNano a challenge to write 30 stories in 30 days with a daily story prompt.

FlashNano Day 4: Write a story that involves winning a prize

~Sometimes an unabashed, sappy fairytale escapes from my mind and all I can do is let it breathe. JW

IMG_5121.JPGCallie looked in the mirror one last time as she leaned in to apply a final stroke of soft pink lipstick. She couldn’t believe she’d won. She’s not a girl used to winning, especially a prize this breathtaking. But win she did.

It’s funny how some prizes work, you don’t have to do anything special, except be at the right place at the right time. That’s how it was for Callie. And she did nothing more than be herself… her awkward, quirky self and it was enough. It was finally enough.

Spinning in front of the mirror, her white dress rustled delicately around her knees. She was barefoot with her toes painted pearly pink. She wore her hair down – wild, untamed curls fell halfway to her waist. She slid on a headband made of daisies as a giggle escaped her lips.

It was time.

As Callie walked down the flower strewn path, a familiar tune played on a single wooden flute. Each step she took was fairy light in harmony with the melodious notes.

At the end of the path her prize waited, her heart fluttered, a smile played across his lips and in his sparkling eyes she saw – she was his prize too.

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How To Be A Writer

FlashNano a challenge to write 30 stories in 30 days with a daily story prompt.

FlashNano Day 3: Write a story in the form of an instruction manual

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Posted in about writing, cartoon, flash fiction, Humor, Illustration, short story, storytime, writing | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments

Escape

FlashNano a challenge to write 30 stories in 30 days with a daily story prompt.

FlashNano Day 2: Write a story that takes place on an airplane

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“Mommy, what’s Canada like… when’s mama Sue going to get there? Will she bring all my toys? Will I go to a new school… will the kids be nice? Do they care I have two mommies?” Timmy asked in rapid-fire kid fashion.

Linda ruffled Timmy’s hair, “sssh, baby, don’t worry so much. Remember, it’s an adventure. Mama Sue will be on the next flight she had to finish some work.”

“Ok, but… how come the news made you and mama cry last night. I… I snuck out of bed when I heard you. That man was yelling on TV and you and mama were hugging and crying.”

“Oh honey, I’m sorry you heard all that. Remember when we talked about elections and presidents?”

“Yeah, did Pussy Man win?”

“Oh geezus, baby, lower your voice… we told you not to use that word.”

“But, the man on TV said it…”

“I know, but he shouldn’t have said that. It’s not a nice word.”

“Pussy cat is a bad word?” Timmy asked innocently.

“Well, no, but… do you want some juice?” Linda asked trying to change the subject.

“Yes! Orange juice… and peanuts!”

Waving the flight attendant over, Linda ordered juice and peanuts. “How soon until we land?”

“Twenty minutes, ma’am.” The attendant responded while pouring Timmy’s juice and handing him a small bag of peanuts.

“Thank you,” Timmy responded, “Do you like Pussy man?”

“Oh my God! Timmy! What did I just tell you?! I’m so sorry!”

Holding back a laugh, the flight attendant leaned down to whisper, “No, little fella, not so much,” winking at Linda, the flight attendant moved down the aisle.

“Timmy, you can’t use that word. I don’t want to punish you, but…”

“Ok, mommy, I’ll try to remember…”

Quoting Yoda, Linda responded, “Do, not try”.

Laughing, Timmy asked, “Is Pu– oops, that man, bad like Darth Vader?”

“Well, maybe not quite as bad as that, but…”

“Please fasten your seatbelts and put your seats in the upright position. We are making our descent into Vancouver International Airport”.

Waiting to depart the plane a few minutes later, Timmy looked up and asked, “Will we move back to America, mommy?”

Glancing at the empty seat in front of her where a newspaper blared the headline, “Trump Wins!” Linda could only clutch Timmy’s hand a bit tighter and respond, “Hopefully, in four years, baby… just four years.”

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Seasons Change

 

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SPRING
I’m beautiful, regal and tall. I raise my arms to the sky and feel the warmth of the sun on my body. I’ve grown taller this year, my leaves are lush and green. The grass around me is soft and begs you to come sit for a spell.

SUMMER
Every day – for months – you come outside and lean against me while writing in your journal. Some days you write nothing, you just nibble the end of your pen and stare blankly off into the distance lost in your thoughts. Other days you write so fast you barely look up.

FALL
Days pass and a chill sets in. The sun isn’t as warm, but you still come. You wear thick sweaters, scarves and hats pulled snugly over your ears, but you come. You often bring a camera along with your notebook, and take pictures of my colorful leaves. Your excitement is palpable as you circle my vibrant display snapping picture after picture. You lean against me, I wish I could wrap my arms around you to keep you warm, but you shiver. You begin spending less time with me, but I understand.

WINTER
You no longer come and I’m alone. My brown leaves lay dry and scattered around me. I stand stark and naked as the snow begins to fall. I see you in the frosty window looking out at me. You raise your hand to the glass, as if to wave, you mouth, “soon”.

We wait out winter together, but apart. Spring will be here before you know it and the warm sun will bring my green leaves back and you’ll be back too.

We wait… together, but apart.

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Are People Really Good at Heart?

Every time a new tragic event happens my mind goes back to this quote by Anne Frank:

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Terrible as they’ve been, and my God, they’ve been terrible…Nothing we’ve seen, so far, has been as horrific as what she experienced, but somehow from her hiding place in that tiny attic she remained hopeful and believed “people are really good at heart”.

I like… no, I love that notion, but as I get older and see the world changing and truly turning into a wilderness full of hate and vitriol, I wonder… Will the approaching thunder be too powerful for those of us who believe we have a good heart?

My fear is, all of us believe our hearts are good, our ideas are right, our religion is the one, our political views are the answer and our path is righteous. Most of us believe that about ourselves. But, we can’t all be right and therein lies the problem. If we believe we’re right, then everyone else must be wrong.

Us against them. We’ve taken that to the extreme and that’s where my fear lives. We can’t all be right and we’ve become less inclined to respectfully agree to disagree. Hating each other is easier than accepting differences. The internet connects us in wonderful ways, but it also makes an army out of like-minded people. Ranting in an echo chamber leaves little room to listen.

Compromise is a dirty word now and love is conditional. It feels so meaningless to look up into the heavens and think it will all come out right, that this cruelty too will end, and that peace and tranquility will return again. But, I guess if a young girl hiding in an attic, writing her diary in the dark of night as atrocities beyond our imagination played out around her still believed people were really good at heart who am I to doubt her.

So, I’ll keep trying to believe, and hope you will too. An army of love could be really strong. Foolish idea? Yeah, probably… But, what’s the alternative?

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