March 31, 2015

Peasant food.

She dipped the spoon into the soup, lifting it up full of cabbage and purple liquid.

This was, she reflected, most definitely the food of desperation. Pretty much anything you had to dig out of the ground was. And beets were no exception.

Beets.

Who’d thought to call them that?

Contaminating a perfectly good name by using it for a hideous tuber. Practically a shame, in her opinion.

Here’s a good idea: let’s dig this weirdo purple thing out of the ground and stick it in a soup.

Gah.

She picked up the spoon again and let the purple liquid dribble back into the bowl.

And mayonnaise.

As if the thing weren’t bad enough, they had to add mayonnaise to it.

“I know, let’s add this fatty white goop to this chunky purple soup! That’ll totally make it better!”

Eh. To be fair, they added mayonnaise to everything.

A way to put meat on your bones when you didn’t actually have any meat, she supposed.

She stirred the spoon around in the soup, diluting the mayonnaise into the liquid, lightening the purple to a wild fuchsia.

Sigh.

It was fine. It was soup. Soup was good… right?

She’d been eating it for as long as she could remember. And, for as long as she could remember, she’d thought it was gross.

Who had ever thought purple soup would be a good idea?

“How’s the soup?” called a voice from the kitchen.

Her Grandmother had to raise her voice to be heard over the running water.

“It’s great,” she called back, forcing brightness into her voice. “Thank you. You know it’s my favorite.”

“You’re welcome,” came the reply. “You know I make it just for you.”

Gulp.

She filled the spoon again and swallowed. It wasn’t so bad, she reflected, gazing into the bowl of purple in front of her.

Even peasants gotta eat, right?

Writing Prompt:

drabble (100 words) * A Family Member * cooking

Writing Prompt Courtesy of:

http://www.panthermoon.com/generator.php

March 27, 2015

“Get out.”

“I’m not technically in,” he said. “So I can’t really get out.”

He was right. He was still on doorstep.

She knew she should never have opened the door…. And she wouldn’t have if she’d known he was on the other side.

“All right, then,” she said. “Go away. Is that clear enough?”

“You’re not even going to give me five minutes to explain myself?”

“Nope,” she said. “Leave. Now.”

He looked down at the pizza he was holding and looked back up at her.

“Come on,” he said. “It’s your favorite. And it’s hot. Bringing your favorite pizza doesn’t buy me five minutes?”

“Bringing the pope wouldn’t get you five minutes.”

“I didn’t know you liked the Pope,” he said. “You’re not even Catholic.”

She rolled her eyes and moved to slam the door in his face.

She had managed to swing the door halfway shut before she stopped herself. She eyed the pizza, considering, for a moment. It was still a perfectly good pizza…. It shouldn’t go to waste, should it?

He smiled, hopeful… He knew the pizza thing would work. Much more effective than flowers.

She considered the situation carefully, and his grin slid off of his face as she glared at him. Finally, she made a decision. He was more than a little surprised when she grabbed her keys, stuffing them in her pocket before pulling the pizza box out of his hands.

“Where are you going?” he asked, seemingly a reasonable question, since she’d swiped his pizza and taken off down the street.

“None of your business,” she said.

“I think it’s very much my business,” he said. “Since that’s my pizza and you’re my girlfriend.”

“This,” she said, nodding at it. “Is no longer your pizza. You’ve relinquished custody to me. And there’s no way in hell I’m your girlfriend.”

He didn’t know what to say to that.

It wasn’t long before she found what she was looking for – a rather large bundle of rags sitting on the corner. She reached down, balancing the pizza with one arm, gently nudging what turned out to be a homeless person hidden beneath a sizeable pile of blankets.

“Excuse me, sir,” she said politely. “Would you like this?”

A big grin spread across the man’s face as he reached up to take the pizza, like he was accepting an academy award.

“Thank you,” the man said.

“You’re welcome.”

“You’re just going to give it away?” he asked.

“Yes, Steve,” she answered, glowering. “I’m just going to give it away. At least it’s mine to give…. You would know about giving away things that don’t belong to you, wouldn’t you?”

Forcing the smile back on her face, she looked at the homeless man.

“I hope you enjoy it,” she said. “Have a lovely day.”

It was surprising how fast she moved, now unencumbered by pizza, it took him a little bit to catch up with her.

“Now will you talk to me?” he asked.

“Why should I talk to you?” she said. “Has anything changed from ten minutes ago?”

“N-no…. but…”

The door slamming in his face cut off whatever brilliant reply he might have come up with.

He shook his head at the wooden door and started making his way home, slowly walking away, as though walking slowly might somehow give her more time to change her mind.

Writing Prompt:

drabble (100 words) * A Homeless Person * Pizza

(over word count, obviously….)

Prompt Courtesy of:

http://panthermoon.com/generators/generator5.php

Image Courtesy of:

http://www.morguefile.com/

March 26, 2015

“I can’t even see the stars,” he said.

This sucked. This, without a doubt, sucked more than anything he had ever experienced. More than trips to the dentist and doctor combined. More than having your great-aunt Mabel kiss you.

Granted, eight years was not a whole lot of experience to base opinions on…. But he was fairly certain that this ranked pretty high up on the scale of suckage.

Back home, he’d always been able to see the stars, bright and clear. Ever present and vaguely comforting. The night was never quite completely dark. Not that the night would be completely dark here. The street lights and the neon signs took care of that… but they weren’t exactly comforting.

He supposed he should stop thinking of that place, so far away now, as home. This tiny, bite-sized apartment was home now, although it certainly didn’t feel like it.

He looked up again, fingers wrapped tight against the cold metal railing of the fire escape he’d climbed out on. They didn’t even have a real balcony. Or a backyard. Or a lawn. He rolled his eyes. If he started cataloging all the things they didn’t have anymore, he’d be going on all night.

He squinted, blurring the sky above him to bits. Still couldn’t see the stars.

He shook his head.

How did you know where you were if you couldn’t see the stars?

People had been using them to guide by for thousands of years. They were constant. You could be in the middle of a strange jungle, or lost at sea and just look up. And after a few calculations, you would know exactly where you were.

This place… all stone and glass and too-hard concrete. It was like a different kind of jungle.

“William!” his mother called. “Come back inside… It’s bedtime.”

He heard her loud and clear… one of the few perks of the small apartment.

First day of school tomorrow. He should be excited… maybe. Instead, he tried his best not to think about it, as he brushed his teeth and changed into pajamas.

He shuffled into his new, smaller bedroom and jumped into the bed that had followed them from the old house, with the same familiar sheets.

His mother sat down on his bed, pulling the covers up all the way to his chin and tucking them in around him. She stroked his hair off of his face, stopping a moment to cup his cheek, the same warm hands as always.

“Good night, Honey-Bunny,” she said quietly.

And then she was a silhouette against the doorway as she walked back to the hall.

“Everything will be fine,” she said. “You’ll see.”

She reached out to close the door.

“I love you,” she whispered, as she clicked the door shut.

He smiled, shifting onto his side, tucking his cheek into his pillow and snuggling in.

Sometimes, he supposed, you don’t need the stars to tell you where you are. Sometimes, you don’t have to look up to know you’re right where you belong.

Writing Prompt:

(write for) 25 minutes * male character – under 18 * can’t see the stars
Writing Prompt Courtesy of:
Image Courtesy of:

March 25, 2015

Sorry I’m late today….

He didn’t know how he’d ended up here.

Ok, so technically, how he’d gotten there… He’d driven himself, obviously.

He just wasn’t sure what he’d done to deserve this seventh circle of hell.

“Take your sister to the mall,” his mother had said. “She needs new school clothes.”

The edict might as well have been a death sentence.

Now he stood, outside of the dressing rooms, his arms overflowing with a pile of frilly pink.

Pink.

And glitter.

What was it with the glitter?

He’d never get that stuff off.

This was not what he’d planned on when he’d gotten his driver’s license. He felt it in his pocket, newly-minted and shiny. Movies, maybe. Football games. Road trips.

The mall… the mall was not in the cards. He wouldn’t be caught dead at the mall. And yet… here he was, with an armful of pink.

Little girls zoomed around the store, like hyperactive, poorly-aimed missiles. It was really hard to avoid being crashed into, especially since most of them were below waist-level for him.

He felt like a giant in some sort of nightmarish candyland.

And she was taking forever, of course.

She’d only taken a couple of things in there with her… why was she taking so long?

The sooner she decided what she wanted, the sooner they could get out of here…. This place was starting to make him itch. Some sickly sweet perfume permeated the air. It was starting to give him a headache…. Although that might also have been courtesy of the high-decibel levels of little-girl voices surrounding him.

Sigh.

“Brianna?” he called into the echoing hall of dressing rooms.

No answer.

Great.

He glanced at the tired-looking girl who was detangling and hanging up the rejected clothes.

“Is it cool if I go in there?” he asked. He was pretty sure Bree was the only one in there just now, anyway.

She released a heavy sigh and glared at him, as though he’d just asked her to donate a kidney. Clearly, he wasn’t the only one who didn’t want to be here.

“I guess so,” she said.

“Thanks.”

“Brianna?” he called again.

“What?”

The squeaky voice came from somewhere in the middle of the hall. Arms full, he kicked lightly at the door that sounded about right.

Ten seconds later, the door squeaked open and a small face looked up at him.

“Are you done yet?” he asked.

“Almost,” she answered.

It looked like she’d tried everything on, judging by the pile of pink spilling across the built-in bench. He shouldered his way in and dropped his armful on top of the pile.

“What’s left?” he asked.

“This.”

He looked down. She was holding a sparkly pink headband with little hearts stitched on it.

“What do you think?” she asked.

He tried to formulate his opinion based on the look on her face… and failed.

“It’s….. nice?” he said, voice tilting up at the end.

“I don’t know,” she said.

She put it on her head and looked in the mirror.

“I think it’s pretty, but….”

“But what?”

She wouldn’t say, just taking the thing off and looking at it in her hands once more.

“Maybe it looks stupid,” she said.

He frowned, pretty sure she was lying.

“Do you think it looks stupid?” he asked.

“I don’t know.”

Her voice was quiet.

She was still looking down, eyes on the sparkly headband, when he plucked it out of her hands, placing it on his own head.

He knelt down to her height.

“Do you think it looks stupid?” he asked.

She couldn’t help letting out a giggle.

“No,” she said, with a smile that let him know she was lying.

“It’s pretty, right?” he asked.

“Yes,” she said, still grinning. “Very pretty.”

“That’s settled, then,” he said, handing it back to her. “We’re getting it.”

Her face fell, the smile fading. There was a beat of silence.

“But Mom said….”

Aha. The real problem.

“Mom said what?”

“She said…. She said I shouldn’t get anything that I didn’t need,” she answered. “You know…. That I shouldn’t waste money. And, I guess, you know, I don’t really need it….”

He looked down at her and at the headband in her hands. And at the look on her face. He looked at the price tag. That sparkly little thing was six bucks. Totally not worth it for a scrap of fabric and some glitter.

He thought about his wallet and the measly ten bucks that was left in it.

The cash his Mom had given him would cover the clothes they’d picked out.

“Of course you need it,” he said, reaching back to gather up the clothes and placing the sparkly headband on top. “The accessories totally make the outfit.”

The way she smiled up at him, it was worth it.

“Come one, Squirt,” he said, towing her along to the registers. “Let’s get out of here.”

Writing Prompt:

(write for) 20 minutes * male character – under 18 * pink

Writing Prompt Courtesy of:

http://panthermoon.com/generators/generator3.php

Image Courtesy of:

http://www.morguefile.com/

March 23, 2015

Happy Monday, everyone. I suppose my thoughts are dwelling on the romantic today….

“I am,” it said quietly.

Quite a bold statement, if you think about it. Declaring your existence to the world is almost a brave act in itself. It takes a lot of courage to unequivocally declare one’s existence – to claim one’s place in the world and to do so proudly.

“I am,” it repeated, a little louder this time.

That felt good. It took a deep breath and congratulated itself. Then it screwed its courage to the sticking place. And took another deep breath.

“I am!!!” it shouted.

Well, now. That felt better. It’s a load off of one’s shoulders, to definitely know that you exist. Isn’t it, reader?

It is. It was. It would be. That much was certain.

Now, the grand question…. What was it?

That was as yet to be determined.

It did not know much, but it remembered some…. It remembered being placed in a velvet bed, with all the others. It remembered the brightness of the lights and the dim, cool loneliness of the nights. Most of all, it remembered feeling honored, privileged somehow, when someone pointed to it and said “I want that one.”

It remembered ambivalence and fear. The jittery, jiggly, upside-down feeling that you get before things have been decided, just before the pieces fall into place.

A pocket is not a good place to be during such times. It remembered much pacing. Much jiggling and walking and thinking….

It is difficult to describe the experience of another being’s thinking. Suffice it to say, it feels very much like the heat coming off of a boiling teapot. You know there’s much action and boiling and roiling going on in there, even if you can’t see it.

It remembered the nervousness, the feeling of your insides jangling around inside of you.

But nothing lasts forever. All things happen, sooner rather than later, if we have the patience to wait for them.

And it remembered hope. Being proffered, held up by a warm palm.

It remembered the words, “I love you.”

It remembered the words, “I love you too.”

And “Always.”

And now it sat, wrapped around a finger, on a hand so far away from where it had started, but where it now belonged.

Sunlight blazed through the stone, setting sparkles against the wall.

“I am,” it said, with quiet confidence.

It was.

And it knew what it was.

It was, and forever would be, a symbol of love.

And it was perfectly fine with that.

Mildly inspired by Vindicated, by Dashboard Confessional:

“Hope dangles on a string
Like slow spinning redemption
Winding in and winding out
The shine of it has caught my eye”

Image courtesy of:

http://www.morguefile.com/

March 20, 2015

Just a bit of fluff for a Friday…. Continued from Wednesday’s story, which is located here, if you missed it:

https://litforlunch.wordpress.com/2015/03/18/march-18-2015/

Her first thought was that it was a particularly large voice for such a small person.

Her second was that she was in fact, talking to a very small person… A person so small that she might, in fact be considered a fairy. She let out a gasp of air in a large woosh that sounded suspiciously like a hiccup.

She was talking to a fairy.

WAS SHE TALKING TO A FAIRY?

Gulp.

Then she realized that, in fact, she had not actually said anything yet. She decided that this should be remedied immediately. But of course, as nearly always happens in such situations, she couldn’t think of what to say. Ultimately, she decided that saying something less-than-impressive is far better than saying nothing at all. This, reader, was a very wise, well-considered choice.

“Hello,” she said.

“Yeah, hi,” said the fairy, tapping her foot impatiently, as though she was waiting for a rather unintelligent puppy to fetch the newspaper.

The foot, the girl noticed, was clad not in an ethereal silken slipper, as one might expect from a fairy (and…dare she hope, a fair princess?), but an extraordinarily tiny Chuck Taylor sneaker. She could hear it tapping against the table.

Did fairies wear chucks? Where would one procure such tiny sneakers?

Actually, now that she stopped to look, the fairy was dressed in a rather unorthodox fashion. Chucks were just the start. Black leggings topped by a hot pink mini-skirt. A tiny black t-shirt with a name she didn’t recognize on it… Who were the …. Ramones? And a leather jacket. There were pink streaks in her black hair.

“You gonna stand there all day staring?” the fairy asked.

“N-no,” she stammered, although honestly, she would’ve been quite content to stand around all day staring.

Instead, she gathered up her courage and asked.
“Are you the fairy princess?” she asked, her voice almost a whisper.

You would expect a fairy to have light, tinkling laughter, like the sound of bells, wouldn’t you?

This one snickered.

“Do I look like a fairy princess to you, kid?”

“No,” she said, staring extra hard.

“Listen,” the fairy said, clearly eager to get to the point. “You got anything to eat in that big ol’ backpack of yours?”

“Eat?” she asked, as though the concept had never occurred to her.

“Yeah, eat,” the fairy. “You know, the act of putting food in your mouth? That thing you do when you get hungry?”

“I don’t know,” she said, trying to remember what she’d shoved in her backpack that morning.

The class had already eaten lunch in the museum cafeteria. What did she have left?

She started rooting through her backpack.

“Aha!” she cried, pulling out a pack of crackers with peanut butter and a baggie of grapes.

The fairy looked up at her, eyes wide and greedy.

“Awesome,” she said. “Thank God you’re not one of those gluten-free weirdos. You mind sharing the wealth?”

“Sure,” she said, placing the food the edge of the table that held the giant castle. “They don’t feed you here?”

The fairy instantly latched onto the crackers, trying to drag them away. When you’re the size of someone’s hand, reader, trying to carry a pack of Ritz Bits is a lot like trying to haul a couch. A delicious couch, sure, but a couch nonetheless. So it was not entirely unexpected that our fairy was a good bit out of breath before she answered again.

“Feed …. Who?” she gasped.

“Don’t the fairy cooks make things for you to eat?”

“Ha!” the laugh was released on a single breath. “Do you…. See any cooks around here?”

“I thought maybe they were hiding?”

“Nope,” the fairy answered. “Just me.”

She dropped the crackers and looked up.

“The digs are nice, but there isn’t a whole lot to eat,” she said. “These should last me a while though.”

“What happened to everyone?”

“Who everyone?” the fairy asked, hands on hips.

“The …. The prince,” she answered. “And the princess. Their court and ….servants.”

This elicited another laugh.

“I don’t know who you’ve been talking to,” the fairy said. “But clearly you’ve been misinformed.”

She gaped down at the little person.

“There is no prince,” she said. “No prince, no princess… what do you think? We live in the stone age?”

“There’s no prince?”

“Nah,” she said. “Our senate’s just as boring as yours. And they get just about as much done. I won’t lie though – the president is pretty cute.”

She couldn’t really imagine a non-cute fairy, but chose not to say so. She couldn’t think of what to say…. So she said what all girls say, in a conversational lull.

“I love your shoes,” she said. “Where’d you get them?”

“Aren’t they cute?” the fairy replied. A bright grin lit her face as she kicked up a heel. “I swiped ‘em from a Barbie.”

“Comfortable footwear is important,” she said sagely, despite having no idea what she was talking about.

“Definitely,” the fairy said, looking down at her toes and clicking the white rubber bits together.

“So…. What are you doing here?” she asked. “If there’s no prince and no princess and no court….”

“I’m just passing through,” she answered. “This place is nice, although the tourists are annoying. I think I’ll move on soon… I hear Niagara Falls is nice. Maybe I’ll go there.”

“Just how do you expect to get there?”

The fairy just grinned mysteriously.

“So… what are you…”

“Hey, kid!”

This was a louder, larger, grown-up voice. And it took her a few seconds to realize it belonged to the full-sized museum guard standing at the doorway of the room.

“No touching the exhibits,” he said.

“I wasn’t….”

She looked down at the table ledge… It was empty. The fairy was gone. So, suspiciously, were the grapes and the crackers.

“Sure you weren’t,” he said. “Just like every other kid who’s ever been in here says they weren’t. But just on the off-chance that you were, how about you go find your teacher now?”

“But I don’t want…..”

She looked back at the castle. She could swear she saw something moving in one of the bedrooms.

It was ok.

“How about you get a move on?” he said, stepping closer.

She glared at him.

Fine.

She would leave.

For now.

She wanted information and she had certain ways of getting it.

There was a whole box of crackers at home and she had every intention of putting them to good use.

Image Courtesy of:

http://www.morguefile.com/

March 18, 2015

It was strange, being left alone with the castle. Or nearly alone, for there was always a museum guard lurking in the corner, casting mistrustful glances in her direction, as though she could somehow damage the exhibit by mere proximity.

She didn’t care. The guard didn’t matter. The room didn’t matter.

The castle mattered. She gazed wide-eyed at it, trying to drink in every detail…. It was impossible. From the tiny, hand-written books to the itty-bitty plates laid out on the table, with teeny-tiny goblets and spoons and forks. Real paintings, done in miniature. Real furniture.

That was important. Because it wasn’t just a dollhouse. There were no dolls. There were real bedrooms, made up for the real fairy prince and princess. There were bathrooms, where real water could flow out of teeny tiny taps. Real bear skins on the floor. Real books in the library.

It must be. Real, that is.

Because…. if everything else was real… the bear skins and the books and the gold and the silver and the furniture….. so they must be too, mustn’t they?

The rest of her class had moved on long ago, wandering through the various rooms, but she couldn’t go… couldn’t pull her eyes away from the fairy castle.

If it was really real …. And it was. Of this she was certain….. If it was real, the fairy prince and princess must be real too. She couldn’t imagine that anyone would make such a thing – such a beautiful place – if there wasn’t anyone to live in it.

Perhaps it hadn’t always been so small, she thought, circling around it for the thirtieth time. Perhaps it had been a big castle somewhere very far away and some evil sorcerer had shrunk it, simply out of the desire to have something so beautiful for his own.

She could imagine that… although it didn’t explain how it had managed to land here, in a museum, in the middle of a city that was suspiciously devoid of castles.

She wondered where the prince and princess had gone… why they had left it behind. Certainly, it could be highly unpleasant to be stared at day after day by grubby-handed children on field trips, but she didn’t think that was it.

Where had they gone? Would they ever return?

Her mind brimmed with questions. She briefly considered asking the guard, only to reconsider upon further examination of the guard’s face. His face looked the way curdled milk smelled, and she decided not to take any chances.

“Hey!”

The voice caught her by surprise. It wasn’t the guard. By all accounts, he hadn’t even heard it, since he was still busy practicing his omni-directional glare.

“Hey you!”

The voice came from somewhere in the vicinity of her waist.

Her first thought was that it was a particularly large voice for such a small person.

To be continued….

As I’m sure any of you who are from Chicago know, this is a real exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry. If you’re not familiar with it, there’s more information on it available here (it really is beautiful, and was recently restored to its proper place…) You should check it out; I’m really not doing it justice here:

http://www.msichicago.org/whats-here/exhibits/fairycastle/

There’s also a really excellent children’s book on a similar subject (a similar exhibit, although I mistakenly thought it was about the castle…) if you’re interested in that sort of thing…. it’s a much better version of what my pallid story attempts to do. And it’s also well worth checking out:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6609848-the-sixty-eight-rooms

Writing Prompt:

(write for) 10 minutes * female character * field trip

Writing Prompt Courtesy of:

http://panthermoon.com/generators/generator3.php

Image Courtesy of:

http://www.morguefile.com/

March 17, 2015

It would be simple, they thought.

And it should’ve been.

It is, after all, much easier to sneak in somewhere when you’re short. And at age nine, they were well below the standard line of sight.

It’ll be no problem, they decided.

It wasn’t as though they had many transportation options. Bikes only got you so far. And, given the several inches of snow on the ground, bikes were ill-advised.

And so… the bus. The bus, they were well aware, cost money to ride. Money that they were not currently in possession of.

So, really, if you think about it, they had no choice.

It would be easy, they told each other. Simply climb on with the crowd and hide in the back. The driver wouldn’t notice.

And it worked, sort of.

The climbing on the bus part worked, anyway.

The hiding in the back part, not so much.

They knew, as soon as they’d settled into the uncomfortable plastic seats in the back row.

“She’s watching us,” he whispered, feeling the bus driver’s heavy gaze focused on them like a heat lamp. He could feel himself frying, crisping under her gaze like a tater tot.

“No, she’s not,” his friend whispered back. “Of course she’s not…. You’re imagining it…….”

His eyes grew wide.

“No….you’re right…. She’s watching us.”

“Whatarewegonnnado?” He forced himself to take a deep breath. “WHAT ARE WE GONNA DO?”

“She’s gonnna kick us off,” came the doleful reply, as though being kicked off was equivalent to a death sentence, or at least having ones’ toys taken away. “She’s gonna kick us off and we’re gonna have to walk home.”

But to the surprise of the two small whispering humans tucked into the back row, she did not.

At every stop, they feared the voice would ring out, calling them to the front of the bus, to face the inimitable wrath of the driver, whose burning glare they sensed through the mirror. That fiery gaze would, they felt, find them wherever they hid. They briefly considered ducking, hiding under the seats. But the gaze would follow them, they knew. And the sticky, disgusting, slush-stained floor was an excellent deterrent.

They had five stops left. Then four.

They held their breath.

Three.

Two.

Would it happen? Would it really? It is possible that they, inexperienced thieves though they were, would escape this petty crime unscathed?

Was it possible she wasn’t even looking at them? Were they imagining it?

Finally, their stop arrived. With bated breath, they got up, preparing to walk out of the bus as though they’d done nothing wrong.

One foot in the aisle. Then both.

Was it possible?

One step forward and…..

“Hey! You two. Come up here.”

This was it. They were doomed. It was not possible that she’d been talking to anyone else. Slowly, they slunk towards the front of the bus, approaching their doom.

They were not certain exactly what would happen. Perhaps policemen would be involved. They imagined being dragged before their parents in hand cuffs and too-large black-and-white striped convict gear. They imagined their mothers with tear-streaked, mascara-striped faces, weeping at the woe that had befallen them… for how could their children, their own flesh-and-blood, commit such a crime?

Heads down, one foot in front of the other, they moved down the narrow aisle to the front of the bus.

“You two,” she said, irately, glaring at them both.

They wouldn’t have been surprised if flame had spurted from her nostrils, and the weight of her gaze felt a million times heavier here, up close, than it had all the way at the back of the bus.

“You two,” she repeated. “I’ll let it go this time, but don’t do it again, understand?”

Unable to muster words, they nodded enthusiastically, which is to say that they nodded so hard it looked like their heads were going to fly off.

Safely off of the bus, they looked at each other.

“We did it,” said the braver of them. “We got away with it.”

Because sometimes, dear reader, very rarely, things actually do turn out the way you want them to.

Writing Prompt:

Bus stop, compliance, deceive.

Writing Prompt Courtesy of:

http://shortstoryideas.herb.me.uk/

Image Courtesy of:

http://www.morguefile.com/

March 13, 2015

Happy Friday, everyone. It’s finally starting to feel like spring…..

Allow me to get one thing straight: we don’t sing.

Whatever you might’ve seen in those silly Disney movies is untrue. We flowers are a dignified lot and – you’ll pardon my saying this – but singing is a rather silly pursuit, even at the best of times.

No tiptoeing through the tulips for us.

Although if you ask me, the tulips are snobs, always with their bulbous heads in the air. They’ve gotten a bit big for their britches. But of course, don’t tell them I said so… Roses do not gossip. Or at least we don’t admit to gossiping, which is the same thing.

We were part of a garden once…. Such a very long time ago. But the roots remember. They’re good for such things, even if they are constantly harping on about the ‘good old days’ when there was tending and …. Pruning.

Lord, have you heard of a worse word?

Pruning. Gah.

Even the sound of it makes me shudder.

A long time ago, we looked out over an organized little garden – squared off paths and different plants each in their little sectors, growing like little green soldiers. I don’t remember, of course, but I’ve been told (over and over again – the stupid roots never keep quiet….).

I much prefer growing wild, dripping over the old trellis in a riot of color. There’s nothing like the sunlight on your petals, I’ll tell you that.

I have been told, by the blossoms that are closest to the hedge, that following the sidewalk, just beyond our little garden, is a school.

That certainly explains the steady stream of children making their way past us in the mornings, trotting on the way to a large brick building that I am told is just out of sight. I feel bad for them, all dressed alike in their uniforms.

It is, perhaps, because I am spoiled, that I feel this way…. I have grown free for so long that I cannot remember what it is to be confined. But I cannot help but feel, as the children walk past with their shiny-clean hair and their neat, neat uniforms, that they look …well… pruned.

I watch them gingerly sidle past puddles, avoiding the grass and the mud. They stay squarely on the sidewalk, on their way to the boxy brick building – another square for them to fit into. And certainly, they fit. But I wonder if they ought to.

It is with the slightest pang of self-satisfaction that I watch them file past every morning, gloating quietly in the spring sunshine. It is a shame, I think, that humans do not allow their children to grow wild.

There is beauty in the wild. There is so much more than they will ever know.

Writing Prompt:

POV – (inanimate object) * female character * growing wild

Writing Prompt Courtesy of:

http://panthermoon.com/generators/generator3.php