distraction

For Friday Fictioneers, 100 words

© Ted Strutz

Loading was going according to schedule. The new rigger seemed to be working out alright, slow but conscientious.

As Kevin took one last walk around the load, his phone rang. A moony smile spread across his face at the sound of his new girlfriend’s voice. 

Kevin gave the new guy a thumbs up and they hopped in the truck.They were in the middle of an intersection when Kevin realized he had only checked one side of the load.

He watched helplessly as the entire load careened off the trailer, traffic screeching wildly in every direction. He winced and prayed.

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Thank you to Rochelle at rochellewiseoff.com for the Friday Fictioneers prompt, and Ted Strutz for the photo!

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inner tabby

inside

you hold the wild

your dance so fierce with joy

that leaps and flies among the clouds

alive

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just thinking

I do a lot of thinking. A whole lot of thinking.

Thinking is a critical part of writing. Right from the get-go you have to think about what it is you’re going to write.

Then you have to think about how you want to write the thing, and how you’re going to research it. If you’re researching for your writing, then you have to think about your research. And there’s generally research of some flavor.

I guess it’s quite similar to being a scientist, right?

And then, finally, you get to the actual writing part, in which you find yourself, surprise!, thinking. As in you have to think about how the words go together, and whether you’re using the right words. You have to search for the ones that perfectly convey your intent. Then there’s structure, and grammar, and punctuation, and formatting to think about.

But for all that, sometimes I feel a little guilty about all the thinking I do. As if I’m wasting time. It feels very self-indulgent, not allowed on some level. It is often difficult to give myself permission. In fact, the whole process feels forbidden.

And yet, writing is a little like breathing for me. It’s essential.

And truthfully, it is worthy. Writing changes the world.

It might impact a fleeting moment, or it might alter the course of history. It might touch one person or many. It might make someone laugh, or finally understand something, or help them put their new shelving together, or simply escape for awhile. It might launch a business, sway an election, or reshape society’s path. Even when no one else reads the words, writing has the capacity to change things. 

Whatever the scope turns out to be, it matters.

So, don’t mind me, but I have a little thinking to do.

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dreamless

I walk out to the middle of the field. Like a little kid, I plop down into the cool grass and sprawl out on my back. I just lie there, looking up at the sky. 

It’s one of those super-blue days, and there’s these lines of happy clouds coming across, ensemble, like a choreographed dance troupe. I lazily watch the travel of the clouds, blown along by an insistent wind.

The longer I lie there, the more I feel and hear the wind. It whips wisps of my hair across my face. I can hear the crinkle of the occasional tumbling leaf, remnant of winter, blowing past. 

I glance sideways through the grass and notice the dandelions. I feel kind of sneaky looking through the blades of grass, as if I’m somehow hidden.

But, no, there I am, grown adult, lolling in the grass, just watching the clouds, you know.

I close my eyes for awhile and roll my head back and forth, noticing the strange rainbow I see pass underneath my eyelids. Then I put my palms over my eyes, and I see the most psychedelic blue.

I open my eyes again, and just lie there, sinking down into the grass as my muscles slowly loosen. 

I am in the clouds, dreamless.

How many years has it been since I let myself do this simple, amazing thing?

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air to breathe

Somedays I get a little frantic because it’s like I can’t breathe, there’s just no air to breathe. I want to see the sky, the whole big sky from end to end and no end at all.

Buildings and shadows and numbers, numbers ticking, always ticking, swallowing up all the air until there’s just not enough. Numbers ticking, always ticking. We all play this game of suffocation. There’s not enough air left for me.

I want to run. Somewhere there’s air to breathe. I have to run, run, run, to go where the sky gets big.

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the companion

Almost becalmed, the boat tiptoed through the ripples. The sails hung listless in the silence. Water stretched away in every direction to the horizon, empty of other souls.

Alone on the boat, she became aware that she was not unaccompanied. She couldn’t help but recognize and respect the rules and the whims of wind and water, nature itself.

Finally, she felt, more than heard, the susurrus of the pennant on the backstay gently answering a flutter of breeze. It gave no hint of the wild storm that would visit in the dark of night. 

No matter, she would be ready.

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100 words

Thank you, Eugenia, at Eugi’s Causerie, for this week’s prompt, “flutter”!

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ready and willing

For Friday Fictioneers, 100 words

Photo courtesy of Dale Rogerson

Retirement was not agreeing with them.

Roscoe and Norma restlessly sipped their drinks, soaking in the tropical surroundings. The spacious deck overlooked a pond teeming with beautiful, lush growth, but they both sat bored, itching to cook up some adventure.

They couldn’t help but notice when the sky took on an eerie glow. Without further warning, a ferocious wind exploded around them. Foliage and water became a blur, whipped by the maelstrom.

“Roscoe! Look up!” Norma yelled, pointing.

Turning his head skyward, Roscoe could see the strange, elliptical craft descending towards them.

“Hell, yeah!” grinned Roscoe. “Beam us up, Scottie!”

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Thank you to Rochelle at rochellewiseoff.com and for the Friday Fictioneers prompt!

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the well-read cat

There is nothing my wonderful best friend cat likes better than to curl up with me and a good book, or even a mediocre book. As long as he can comfortably situate himself, Tippy’s reading appetite is nothing short of voracious. Together, Tippy and I have delved into a fantastic array of places, people, and ideas as we turned the pages and allowed ourselves to be transported.

My tabby friend and I have had wondrous escapades like flying over Africa or sailing the North Sea or exploring beyond the planet. We’ve studied maps and pictures. We’ve figured out how to do things. We’ve pondered philosophical issues and romantic ones. 

Tippy has purred his way through many delightful pages, and sometimes sat on them. He has also patiently listened when I’ve tested the words on the page, reading aloud. We’ve explored rhythm and imagery. We’ve counted syllables.

True, with such a diverse catalog of reading, we have on occasion disliked a book, even found ourselves scoffing. We have, however, never found ourselves in disagreement.

Unlike my beloved Biddo, Tippy is not a book biter (a little bit on that here). No, although he does enjoy exploring the physical depths of a book shelf from time to time, he respectfully leaves the books intact. He is not, however, above taking a swipe at a bookmark.

Tippy’s joy in books seems to lie in the shared reading experience and, most important, the cuddling. In fact, from his nestled perch in my lap, he often insists that other tasks be put off, while we enjoy yet one more chapter. 

Yes, a well-read cat is a true treasure. Beyond words, really.

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this day

as the birds warble me awake
into the yet dark birth of a new day
i slowly pull away from already forgotten dreams
and the mantle of anxieties begins to weave around me

i watch as the light comes
and the birds cease their song, they fly,
as if they, too, know this world’s troubles
but the birds, they know who they are

a decision drifts like haze in the air
then takes form, a rock, left unpainted, in my hand
this day, no,
i will not wear this cloak of human constructs

i loose the creeping fingers
i can remember who i am, i can,
i do remember the air and the blue of the sky
i know the arms of the ever-giving trees

this day, i fly with the birds
this day, i am home, child of earth and stars 

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spontaneous

Photo courtesy of Eugi’s Causerie

The strains of the old song wafted out over the streetside cafe. Maddie couldn’t help herself.

“Oh, we have to dance!” she trilled, eyes sparkling.

“What? Here? Now?” Peter laughed. Still, he, too, could feel the pull of the song. How, after all, could he resist Maddie’s entreaty?

Maddie rose, pulling Peter up towards her. They melded into a gentle, slow swaying dance, meandering among the tables, oblivious to the startled onlookers. A waitress gently skirted them to bring an order out. 

The song came to a close. The couple looked up, surprised, as the cafe erupted in happy applause. 

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Thank you, Eugenia, at Eugi’s Causerie, for this happy prompt, “dance,” and the accompanying photo (apologies for using just a portion)!

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