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.”

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”!

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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the transformative power of a run

A to Z challenge, theme: anatomy, day 12: L
Flash essay, 100 words 

I linger over my coffee, brooding. I’m sluggish, resistant. I sit half-heartedly fighting the ennui that keeps me in the chair with my melancholy thoughts. It would be so easy to just … not.

Somehow, I manage to make myself lace up, get up and out the door. I walk fast. Finally, I’m running. 

Legs pumping. Feet feeling the ground. Air in my lungs. Eyes soaking in the trees, the sky, the path ahead. I feel my aliveness with joy and gratitude, aware of my heart of compassion, my kinship with all of life. Creativity blooms. It’s a beautiful day.

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the prompt

A to Z challenge, theme: anatomy, day 8: H
Flash essay, 100 words

Head, heart, hands. All three get in on the act when a writing prompt presents itself.

The head immediately jumps all over the word or the photo, tossing it around, looking for an angle. 

The heart is right in there, too, reacting with memories and feelings. People and places burble up, somehow jolted from the depths by the prompt.

The hands wait patiently in the wings until finally they get the green light. Within seconds, the head and the heart are right back in the thick of things, changing it up.

Somehow, between the three of them, a story emerges.

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remembering the Pedoscope

A to Z challenge, theme: anatomy, day 6: F
Flash nonfiction, 100 words

Years ago, a doctor X-rayed my feet with my shoes on so he could show me what my bones looked like stuffed into high heels. As if I couldn’t figure that out without radiation.

Later on, I learned that shoe-fitting fluoroscopy was a thing at one time. This grand idea came into vogue in the 1920s, and lingered as late as the 70s in some places. At the shoe store, customers, mostly children it seems, got X-ray glimpses of their feet inside the shoes they were trying on. Like you couldn’t get a good fit without radiation.

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misstep

A to Z challenge, theme: anatomy, day 2: B
Flash nonfiction, 100 words

My eyes fluttered open. Leaves and branches slowly came into focus.

My ears took in the sound of traffic passing nearby, then, the crunch of footsteps coming close.

A face came into view.

“You okay?” The gruff-looking stranger looked down at me quizzically.

“I don’t know.”

After a moment, I heard his footsteps crunch away and disappear. The sound of the traffic alternately surged and subsided.

Finally, I tried to sit up. That’s when the pain hit. 

Somehow, I got to my unsteady feet. Cradling myself with one arm, I trudged home, the broken bone wailing all the way.

iced cookies

For Friday Fictioneers
100 words

Copyright Jennifer Pendergast

Mom sits in her wheelchair, frail and shrunken. Her hands and head wobble constantly with Parkinson’s disease.

I place the tray of cooled, freshly-baked cookies on the table in front of her, alongside cups of colored icing and sprinkles.

“Want to start with red?” I ask, pushing a cup toward her. She shakily picks up a spoon.

An hour later, there’s icing everywhere. The cookies are thoroughly decorated. Mom leans back, green icing all over her hair, smiling radiantly.

“Just look at those beautiful cookies!” I exclaim, just like she must have said to me so many years ago.

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Thank you to Rochelle at RochelleWisoff.com for this happy kickstart, with the photo prompt above.