5 Aug
2014

The rain and Lizzie

Lizzie counts pebbles and groups them according to size and colour. She’s found a safe place to perform her continuing task. It’s a warm yet shaded spot, under a train trellis bridge where the sand is always pleasingly soggy. She likes the feel of the grains between her fingers and between her toes. She likes the sandbox smell of the sand; the sandbox her grandfather built in the backyard always smelled like this after it rained.

Revisiting her childhood twenty years on, Lizzie wonders about her grandparents and why they never questioned a six year old child content to sit alone in a damp sandbox, wearing her yellow slicker and yellow slicker hat. Lizzie didn’t play with dolls or her miniature plastic cars. She would sit in the sand and consider the large green leaves of the cherry tree, or the peeling blue paint on the side of the garage.

Even back then, Lizzie could tell when a storm would return with banging thunder or when a storm would break free of the too-gray sky. Or she’d think about the bright red beach pail and how it had been thrown by strong winds to its tipped and stuck position in the muddy garden. She’d mull about the worms lost in so much overgrown grass.

The rain and Lizzie had always been friends. But no one ever asked her why.

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29 Jun
2014

I’m on my way to…

Steal your mermaid
Paint the breeze
Cry champagne
Play symphonies on a blade of grass.

Fantastical thoughts fill moonless nights
For my longing has carried you away
Instead of drawing you near.

Timidly, I listen loudly
Boldly, I cannot bear to hear.

**********
42 words

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29 Jun
2014

Maddie White

Four days to go before ‘Cheque Wednesday’ and Maddie’s broke again. The money this month lasted two weeks, which was record breaking, but now her room rent’s been paid so it’s back to walking alleys, searching dive restaurant dumpsters for food.  As with most things in her life, she’s found that timing is everything.  If you don’t get to the dumpsters quick enough, rats get dibs on leftovers. Maddie knows. She’s fought with a few of them for donuts when she was desperate.

She pushes her bangs out of her eyes.  Her thick, black hair can be unruly so she wears a bowed red velvet ribbon to tame it.  The ribbon was a gift from her father on her 17th birthday.  It was the only present he ever bought her and Maddie figures he shot himself to get out of buying her another on her 18th.

Annaluk scores crack several blocks away and rushes back to Maddie.  She tells her she’s brought some to make the day go faster.  Of course, Annaluk doesn’t mention she used money that she stole from Maddie’s sweater pocket. But, it’s okay, because Maddie doesn’t remember anyway. The only thing  Maddie remembers is the feeling that coursed through her the last time Annaluk shared her stash.

Laying down so the day-hastening pain relief can shoot directly into her jugular,  Maddie awaits the blissful feeling to overtake her. And for the next few minutes, it does. But then, she starts to shake. Her ivory white skin turns ashen and the shaking turns into violent tremours.  Annaluk shouts down the alley to the street nurses circulating through the neighbourhood to distribute clean needles; then, like the friend that she is, Annaluk takes off for anywhere-but-here in the opposite direction.

Thirty-six hours later, Maddie stirs in bed, squinting  in pained recognition she’s in the hospital. Opening her eyes, she tries to focus on the face looking down at her.  After several minutes, she realizes the face she’s staring into is a handsome one, complete with clear blue eyes.  The intern smiles as he watches his patient closely. And then, as if anticipating the questions now rushing through her brain, Dr. Reg Alprince shows his hospital identification card to introduce himself:

“Welcome back Maddie.  You’ve been asleep for quite a long time.  I’m glad I was here to wake you up.”

_______________________________________________________________________

The original version of this story was my entry in Anna Meade’s ‘Once Upon a Time Flash Fiction Contest’ in June 2012.  Two years on, I thought I’d make a few little changes and re-post it.  Hope you see the connection to fictional character. There was a word count limit but I can’t remember what the limit was! 

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22 Jun
2014

Thighs and naugahyde

Scorching summer nights, she’s wedged into the dark corner booth at Hannigan’s. Those naugahyde benches squelch pleasingly under exposed sweaty thighs.

What if she sticks completely? Well, it’s time for one last light beer. Then she peels herself away and waddles home.


(click on photo for credit info)
******************

42 words

 

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15 Jun
2014

Farewell Uncle Bill, I knew you

As the priest eulogizes, Sylvie kneels alongside mourners in the family’s designated pew. Her brothers sob, taking air in gulps.

Sylvie lowers her head, then bites her lip bloody as she tries to deny release of the jubilant song in her heart.

*************

42 words

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25 May
2014

Towards eternity

Down the path

Around a bend

In the froth of waves

Stands Lizabeth

Without an ‘e’ or shoes

Small heart empty of tomorrows.

 

Cool ocean sand swirls

Beneath curled toes and wishes

She hesitates

Then floats away

Towards eternity

Amongst the fishes.

*********

42 words

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