The curious case of the cinnamon sticks

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

 

Nancy loved pottering about with Mum. Today they were planting flowers. Or they would once Mum found her garden tools.

“It’s as if they crawl off on their own.” she muttered to herself digging through piles of junk in their garden shed.

“Maybe the gnomes came to borrow them.” mused Nancy.

Mum mumbled something about gnomes and arses.

Cinnamon sticks poked out off one shelf, catching Nancy’s eye.

“See! The gnomes replace what they borrow with cinnamon sticks.”

“Flip! so this is where I stuffed these bloody cinnamon sticks. Maybe I should check the spice cupboard for my garden tools.”

100 words

My very first instinct was to write some grisly murder / thriller. Images of leaves, dried twigs and wintry scenes has this effect on me. I pushed myself to find something different, stretch my creative muscles a bit. Get the rusty cogwheels turning. There’s a bundle of twigs on the makeshift shelving that look like cinnamon sticks. (Left on image). And I went with that!

Hope you enjoy the break from my dark side. Anyone who is a busy parent juggling work (housework or career or both), fitness habits, hobbies, child-rearing will know that feeling of confusion upon discovering misplaced items. And I doubt that Mum will find her tools in the spice cupboard. That would be too easy.

Write a story in 100 words or less, and join Friday Fictioneers. Hosted by our friend Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Click the icon to read more flash fiction in different genres.

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Thoughts of a dying dream

I was born with you, the day of your birth,

in your awakening

Out of those moments of joy bursting with light.

I stood by you, through years of your longing,

in your flagellation

Through those moments of pain echoing with the truth.

 

We have always been one, though you split us in two

Denied me, seeking fulfilment from others besides me.

Embarrassed, you walked away

I saw you look back eyes dark with regret.

You had no sense to know you could never forget.

 

Once in your mid-life, I sent you flowers, a fragrant bouquet

Hoping to remind you of what we had, and all the missed hours.

You read the note, threw it in the bin

Hid in the bedroom and found you could not hide from what was within.

That night, in the yellow of the porch light, you looked up at the stars

wondering, always wondering.

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And here we are, together still at the end of your life.

Yes I’m still here, beside you, within you

And I bloom in your chest, with a lot of regret.

You tell me you’re sorry, you don’t know what happened

I say nothing, just let you speak, hear your voice cracking.

 

The pain in your voice is much for me to bear.

I know I tried to tell you over the years

that for you to truly live, both of us need to have life.

 

But I will die with you, the world never knowing who I am

More tragic than this, is the self you hid from the world.

All I could do was show myself to you

Hoping you would find your courage.

Something you could never do.

 

Oh the life we could have lived!

The possibilities we could have explored!

 

It is harder for me still, to question my own existence

The dream that never could and never will,

be more than a thought in your head

A fledgling hope that never took flight.

Why was I here? It makes no sense.

 

Then I look in your eyes,

moments before the light in them goes out,

and I see the same questions stirring about.

 

****

Inspired by an article I read on the regrets of the dying. Unfulfilled dreams were one of the biggest regrets.

There is something about unfulfilled dreams, hopes and desires that cause us so much pain. Most of it seems to go against logic and reason and it takes courage to follow them.

Undeniably, dreams are a part of who we are. To fulfil them is to fulfil ourselves. To give them life, is to give us a life that feels authentic, and has a buzz to it that makes us feel very much alive.

Need a better title. It is a WIP. Suggestions welcome!

Here’s to your dreams 🙂

 

 

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Sunday lunch

 

She leaned back in the chair, the cold wrought iron pressing into her back. Through her grief a smile rose to her mouth. Countless Sunday lunches, warm garlic breads and ice cold lemonades. She could almost hear the chatter, the laughter ringing around the table. Young and old.

A hand touched her shoulder, she didn’t have to look to know it was her brother, Barry.

“C’mon sis, I’ll make you some tea. Let’s go inside.”

She stood up and took one last look at the chair where Dad always sat. Sunday lunch would not be the same without him.

99 words

Hooray! My picture was chosen for this week’s flash fiction, and I couldn’t be more thrilled! Thank you, group leader, Rochelle!!!!I took this picture while on holiday, and the lodge I was staying at had a sombre air about it. Later I heard from hotel the hotel staff that the father of the family-run business had just passed away. So naturally their story came to mind.

I apologise for not commenting  much on last week’s flash fiction. Life has thrown me major life changes which has given me the most confusing mix of incredible joy and sadness at the same time. I promise to double my efforts this week and read as many of this week’s posts as I can.

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by the most talented artist and writer, Rochelle Wiesoff-Fields. The challenge is to write a story in 100 words or less. Click the blue frog icon to read more awesome flash fiction by more great writers. Make coffee, sit back and enjoy 30 second stories.

 

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Fine lines of the heart

PHOTO PROMPT © Marie Gail Stratford

 

Zahra leaned towards the mirror, dabbing eye cream around her eyes hoping to see those dreaded fine lines vanish. She turned her face in the dim light, trying to catch a glimpse of the smooth-faced beauty that once won her pageant titles.

Her husband appeared behind her reflection. “Still as beautiful as ever!”

She smiled softly. She never noticed just how grey his hair had become. Were those wrinkles on his face from years of laughter, or from sadness? Guilt pinched her heart.

She took his face in her hands and planted a kiss on his eager lips.

98 words

The image made me think of a flower that has lost its bloom, and that led to thoughts of ageing beauties. Zahra, in arabic, means flower.

This story was in part inspired by a poem I once read about an ageing couple, (the title and poet eludes me, sorry). The husband looked at the lines on his wife’s face and found beauty in them, because they were borne from the history of their lives together.

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by, Rochelle Wiesoff-Fields. The challenge is to write a full story in 100 words or less. Click the blue frog to read more flash fiction from other writers.

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