at the artist’s cottage, a drabble

Courtesy of Eugi’s Causerie

His cottage looked out to the waves and the sky. Paints, brushes, and canvasses in varying states of completion filled the space. His lonely time on the bluff fueled creative landscapes highly prized by art lovers. 

Then one day, the woman with the black hair knocked on his door. Now, he lay idle, his fingers mingled loosely in those raven strands, inspiration long evaporated in a haze of romance.

“Today, my love? Please, pick up your brush again,” she coaxed.

He knew he was done with landscapes. 

He stared into her sapphire eyes. New inspiration flickered.

“Yes, today,” he smiled.

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Thank you to Eugi’s Causerie for the prompt, “mingle,” and the accompanying photo.

paradise, of a sort

Every self-respecting Michigander knows how you get to Paradise.

Head straight up I-75 over the bridge, then head northwest toward Tahquamenon Falls. It’s right there on the Lake Superior shoreline in the shelter of Whitefish Bay.

There are no palm trees waving in tropical breezes. Nor will you find any cabanas along the beaches of the lake’s dark, cold waters. 

It’s Paradise nevertheless. Nestled along the “big lake” on the edges of the upper peninsula’s mysterious, beautiful forests, it’s where dreams come true with that much-needed cup of coffee, maybe a pasty, and a tankful of gas. 

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Thank you, Eugenia, at Eugi’s Causerie for inspiring this little drabble with this week’s prompt, “paradise.”

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!

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”!

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!

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)!

with the crowd

For Friday Fictioneers
100 hundred words

Photo courtesy of David Stewart

At first, it seemed like fun. We all bobbed along, each of us safely ensconced in our pandemic-proof eggshells. The crowd chattered excitedly, getting louder and louder as we jostled along. 

Total introvert that I am, I began to feel frazzled. Finally, I knew I had to flee.

Bumping into the edge, I forced my hand through a seam, scrambled out, and ran off into the darkness. I strolled along, watching the spectacle from a distance. 

That’s how I happened to see it: all those glowing eggs tumbling over the precipice down into a dark abyss, babbling into silence.

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

switching it up

A to Z challenge, theme: anatomy, day 16: P
Flash fiction, 100 words 

One year into this whole pandemic schtick, and Sheldon was over it. He had reached his limit with the loneliness, the video screens, the constant soundtrack of fear.

Sheldon knew, however, that he held opportunity in the palm of his hand. 

To anyone else, it looked like a piece of candy. He popped the bonbon in his mouth, savoring the strange flavors as it melted.

It wasn’t long before he felt his teeth growing. Then, the tail started to happen. Pretty soon, the wings popped up and flapped a little. 

Sheldon, the little red dragon, was ready for take-off.

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what comes naturally

A to Z challenge, theme: anatomy, day 15: O
Flash essay, 100 words 

I heard a faint rustling in the forest. Suddenly, five deer bounded right in front of me and loped off through the woods. I marveled at their beauty, grace, and sheer vibrant aliveness. 

Left to their unpolluted wildness, animals naturally do a good job of taking care of themselves. And it shows. They eat in accordance with their bodies’ needs. They generally don’t get obese or drunk or drug addicted. Neither do they need an exercise plan to work their abs, or glutes, or obliques.

Humans don’t even know how to do that anymore. So much to learn from nature.

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scent of hope

A to Z challenge, theme: anatomy, day 14: N
Flash fiction, 100 words 

The scent of the lilacs wafted into the house. Mandy paused, taking it in. She walked outside and clipped a small, bushy sprig of blossoms. Since it wouldn’t be allowed, she tucked the sprig into a plastic bag. She knew it was just the right thing.

Her mother lay in the ICU, unable to move or even to look out a window. Mandy took the sprig out of her pocket. She held it up in front of her mother’s eyes, then up to her nose. Mandy’s hopeful heart leaped as she saw those death-dull eyes suddenly sparking with light.

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