Category Archives: Creative writing

After The War Part 3: A Rustling

Still life with fruit (with scorpion and frog) by Walter Crane This work is in the public domain in the United States, and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years or less.
Still life with fruit (with scorpion and frog)
by Walter Crane
This work is in the public domain in the United States, and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years or less.

Based on the prompt on Today’s Author: “When the wind blew a certain way, it brought a scent that reminded him of his grandmother’s house.”

When the wind blew a certain way, it brought a scent that reminded her of her grandmother’s house. She had to stay on task but being back in this village so many years later, she could not help turn head. If she walked a little upwind, she was sure she would find the old houses in gardens with their tiny stalls lined up on dusty streets along the railroad.

The first time she spent the night at her grandmother’s house, she was woken up by the train passing by, shaking the whole house like a cradle. She was surprised to see her father still fast asleep.

While staring up at the ceiling, watching the shadow of the train pass by right through her room, she thought about her father’s childhood. He had mentioned a few times how he would run around bare foot, back in the days when he could not pronounce his “r”s. She imagined her own authoritative dad, had she known the word, she would have used charismatic, asking his “mothav” for “bvead” with “buttev” and “sugav”. She giggled.

Her silent laughter froze in mid-air. She sensed motion, the sound of rustling at the window by her bed, a presence. Her heart started thumping, filling the room louder than the train that had just passed. If only her father would wake up. He would know how to deal with it. He would take care of the “presence”.

Instead he inhaled loudly with a touch of snotty snore sitting on his nostrils. The rustling stopped. A second later, she heard it again, too close for her to lie still in her bed. It was touching her, brushing against her hair. She got up screaming. Her father woke up with an instinct to protect his offspring, turned the lights on and grabbed his daughter in a matter of seconds, throwing a threatening glare at the enemy.

In her father’s arms, she shut her eyes, trembling. When her father did not move, she opened her eyes to face the enemy… on the floor. Staring back at them, too afraid to move, except for its chin swelling regularly, was a frog. All this commotion, fear and anxiety was only for… a frog.

Her father let her go. Cranky that his sleep had been interrupted, he told her frogs were all over the place in this town. She could not be so jumpy, away from the protective high concrete walls of the big city. This was one of the safest places they could be, so she better go back to sleep.

After the speech, he caught the frog and set it free through the same window it had gotten in.

A soft touch on her shoulder brought her back to the present. It was time for lunch. She washed the soil off her hands and followed the rest of the volunteers into the food tent.

For lunch, they were serving a root dish she had only eaten at her grandmother’s house before. It was a dish specific to this area, a meal that required tradition in the execution.

Years ago, for dinner, her grandmother had cooked the root that only the locals knew where to find, how to cut and how to cook. The smell of the dish was still lingering in all the rooms long after they had sat in the common room, sharing fruits and eating the corn her grandmother had popped in her special pan.

When she went to bed, the root smell had mixed with popcorn, comforting her to sleep. She opened her eyes only slightly now when the train passed, and let it rock her to sleep with its regular “tuddum, tuddum” lullaby on the rails.

She still found rustling by the window somewhat distressing, but had gotten used to the animals she could not easily find in the city. If it was not a frog, it was a dog; if not, a cat, a sheep or once, even the neighbor’s donkey that had made its way out of the stall.

So when there was some rustling by the window, she did not make much of it. She closed her eyes and let her body waft into slumber in the arms of root and corn…

A hand suddenly grabbed her shoulder. For a split second she took it for her father’s but it was much harsher, and a lot less loving.

“Get down on the floor!” Her father woke up with fear in his eyes, staring beggingly at the man holding his daughter.

She heard thumping and her father painfully screaming, begging for his daughter to be left free while she was locked in an empty room.

Soon, her grandparents’ voices joined the choir of painful begging in between blunt thumps and fierce orders.

She hid under the bed. She expected her father to chase those men away any second, to open the door and hold her, to make everything right, turn everything back to the way they were a few hours ago, eating fruits and popcorn with her grandparents in a root smelling house, where the greatest disturbance was animals gone astray.

This was the last time she saw her father, her grandparents and the house itself. The same night, various other houses were attacked with most people either dragged away into anonymity or killed on the spot.

A greater part of the village was damaged first by the civil war and then by the bombings of origins too obscure and tangled to figure out.

She was dragged from one camp to another on trains and trucks until she was left at the porch of an old woman who took care of a small collection of orphans in her little home as if they were her own.

Now, a grown woman, she was back at this village of her childhood she could not recognize anymore, building a new town from scratch for the a little girl to live in safety with her family, in a house that would be smelling roots only her people could cook while the train scheduled to run again soon rocked their home in peace and only harmless animals slowly approached her window.

Word Count: 1030

One Step

Two Women by Egon Schiele The author died in 1918, so this work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 90 years or less.
Two Women by Egon Schiele
The author died in 1918, so this work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 90 years or less.

Tipsy Lit: Prompted: Risky Business   ·

For this week’s prompt, the theme is taking a big risk….

Adrenaline tickling my body, I crossed from one landing to the other. My ecstatic screams subsided only when I reached the other side.

It was Jeima’s turn. Others were teasing her. She had let her turn pass a few times, and watched many of us walk on the thin rail to the other roof, probably telling herself it was not a big deal, that it was one straight step she had to take after another. Had she not, so many times before, practised walking on a straight line on the pavement, pretending to be walking up in the air, with everyone watching and marveling at her courage from below, their eyes reduced to thin lines with the sun shining just above her?

Sometimes we played the acrobat game together, imagining we were world famous artists, walking on ropes above all city chaos, defying gravity, smiling and shining with the confidence we gathered from the inaudible applause below our feet shaking buildings with its intensity. Brunette Rebellion, the name we had chosen for ourselves, rebelled against gravity and fear!

I saw her, with her arms already lifted, balancing her weight, although she had not yet taken a step towards the edge of the roof. She seemed tense, much more different from her jolly, mocking self in our games.

I looked all the way down, focusing on the half of my foot resting emptily on the nothingness between the roof top and the grey pavement 7 floors below.

I imagined the one slight moment when I would push my foot forward and place it on the emptiness. It was as if I could keep walking to the other side where Jeima was still waltzing one foot forward one foot backward, trying to find the courage for the big adventure. It was as if all would unravel like in cartoons, where the character does not fall until it notices it has exhausted the cliff and is standing over a huge gap.

I wondered what difference it would make, my landing on the pavement and never getting up. I wondered what would change for the tiny people rushing in between tall chaotic buildings…

I wondered how my parents would feel and what would change for my friends, whether they would ever come back to this rooftop and carry on with their daring games.

A dress with dark hair rustling and dancing against gravity passed through the corner of my eye, followed by a thump.

And I received the answers to my questions.

People on the streets without a second to waste would quickly gather and stand still around my body. My parents would lose all motion in their body, maybe to go back to a time when they could hold me from climbing up to the roof top.

My friends would never visit the rooftop again, and the fun teasing would be diminished to an unbreakable silence.

I know all this, because it all happened when Jeima stepped quietly away from the cliff.

Word Count: 502

prompted-button

Unframed Senses

Latex house paint dripped by means of Trojan latex condoms, ribbed for her pleasure. by Nik Ehm. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.      You are free:         to share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work         to remix – to adapt the work     Under the following conditions:         attribution – You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work).         share alike – If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one.
Latex house paint dripped by means of Trojan latex condoms, ribbed for her pleasure.
by Nik Ehm.
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
You are free:
to share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work
Daily Prompt Frame of Mind: If you could paint your current mood onto a canvas, what would that painting look like? What would it depict?

They were using new paintings, the type that comes out alive AND touches you, affects you personally.

And there was a special exhibition, full of such paintings framed and displayed on walls, it was a first time ever trial.

Such an exhibition had never been tried before due to fears it might cause an overload on the spectators’ perceptive sensors, unaccustomed to such visual stimulation, and lead to a coma.

The first visitors to view the paintings were allowed in with great caution.

At first, the paintings took their breaths away and they had to close their eyes until their heartbeats subsided.

When they opened their eyes, they found themselves surrounded with the depictions on the paintings, living them.

They were enveloped in yellow paint of the prairie, green touches of the flowers, brownish grey of buildings, white bright drops of rain, pink of flushed cheeks and blue of wide skies.

They were exhilarated, taken by the colors, a brand new environment of oily plastic brush strokes that surrounded them all around. They had become part of masterpieces, their existence had taken form in art, they had been transformed to a superior being.

Within the wondrous smiles of each spectator, a few started losing their mesmerized gaze in their trance, doubled down where they were standing and threw up.

A few others showed crippling cramps in their body while the rest felt sickly overwhelmed.

Thus, the first enrobing art exhibition proved to be futile, and was cancelled shortly afterwards.

The audience who have had the chance to experience the enrobing art show later reported that most of their senses had weakened, and could not no longer enjoy tastes, smells, views, colors they used to care for before the show. They added that a major gap had opened in their senses distancing them from stimulants that could invoke happiness, pleasure, excitement or any other emotion.

Following the reports, people were once again left to their own devices to observe their surroundings, appreciate their skills and enjoy their existence.

Leftover

Patten Elf Dan Fishes for the Lobster Man by Matt Corrigan This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.      You are free:         to share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work
Patten Elf Dan Fishes for the Lobster Man by Matt Corrigan
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
You are free:
to share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work
Writing Challenge: Leftovers
For this week’s writing challenge, shake the dust off something — a clothing item, a post draft, a toy — you haven’t touched in ages, but can’t bring yourself to throw away.

I have this friend I love very much, but sometimes while talking to him, I feel like I am crashing into a wall and cannot advance any further, so I switch to “yeah”, “sure” whether I agree with him or not just to keep the friendship rolling.

But I am not rolling anymore, and am stuck a great distance away, back in my solitude, in between the little fences I remember having built as a young girl.

It is surprising to still find them there, that they have not disappeared after such a very long time, and sad that I should need them after so many birthdays…

( I think hormones are making me a little melancholic)

Fresh Dirt

Women Riding a Donkey by Modesto Teixidor y Torres This work is in the public domain in those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 80 years or less.
Women Riding a Donkey by Modesto Teixidor y Torres
This work is in the public domain in those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 80 years or less.
Daily Post Weekly Writing Challenge:
Fifty-Word Inspiration: This week, find inspiration in fifty words. Use a fellow blogger’s response to a previous challenge, “Fifty,” as a springboard for this week’s post.

I saw fresh dirt and made a move to touch it.

I saw the hand underneath and tried to hold it.

I heard his voice and responded.

Then silence followed and I was left with no hand to hold or voice to listen to. He was gone, I was left behind…

Wordcount: 50, pure luck!

My first go at ultra flash fiction.

Ode to the Uncut Nail

Dailypost: A True Saint

In 300 years, if you were to be named the patron saint of X, what would you like X to be? Places, activities, objects — all are fair game.

a Menasseuse by 	 Hyacinthe Rigaud  another version can be found in Musée Granet (Aix-en-Provence) This work is in the public domain in the United States, and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years or less.
La Menasseuse by
Hyacinthe Rigaud
another version can be found in Musée Granet (Aix-en-Provence)
This work is in the public domain.

I would be the patron saint of uncut nails.

I find uncut nails befitting of me, because my nails have always grown far too sooner than I have wanted them to ever since I can remember. Even when I in kindergarten, while all the kids had tiny nails on their plump fingers, my nails stuck out on thin long sticks I had for fingers. I hated them. I wanted to be like others. I wanted to have cute kiddy fingers instead of old woman’s claws.

Until the day came when I realized everyone else envied my nails. I realized they liked, even admired my nails. I took a good look at the hard, almost bone like structure on my fingers. I observed them… And noticed quite  a few things…

Nail polish looked better on my huge nails.

When I tapped on the desk to show impatience, it made a more charismatic sound getting many tasks done much faster.

If anyone needed to change the battery for the remote control or reach their sim card on their phone, it was not a problem because my nail was long enough to give the delicate push.

Did you need to add a new key to the chain with the tight piece of metal shaped like a spiral? It would not be easy, but my nails could take the pressure.

And the pistachio we all liked so much but, darn, sometimes it was hard to get to the best part. No, you did not need to break the shell with your teeth! I would take care of that with my nails.

Oh those lids! It was so hard to open the ketchup bottle/ juice box/ coke can… The patron saint of uncut nails was there to save the day! No lid was too tight in face of this saint!

And the best part was I had never needed a manicure to keep them in good shape.

Thus, little by little, I realized that what made me so different turned out to be a secret strength that could work to my advantage. I learned to embrace my difference, and left the ugly duckling everyone, but most importantly, I deemed myself to be behind and learned to accept who I am with all the attributes I hold.

Once, something as trivial as a nail alienated me from the crowd. Yet, something as invisible as a nail also helped me see what power I held hidden at the tip of my finger.

Therefore, there is no other more deserving of the title patron saint of uncut nails than I.

Animalation

Cro-Magnon artists painting in Font-de-Gaume, AMNH. Date Made public in 1920, according to the book Charles R. Knight: the Artist Who Saw Through Time from wikimedia commons
Cro-Magnon artists painting in Font-de-Gaume, AMNH.
Date Made public in 1920, according to the book Charles R. Knight: the Artist Who Saw Through Time
from wikimedia commons

I am one part human, two parts koala…

I love to hug. I am crazy about hugging. Some, by that I mean my partner, may even tend to call me a little clingy, since I tend to spoon all the time… even while walking.

I am lazy. I have my favorite spot in the living room, on the couch we found at the flea market. The best activity I can think of is spending a whole day on the couch, hoping to save the world through surfing the net with occasional snooze intervals.

Sometimes I get extremely aggressive, usually around the mating season of us primates as well as koalas.

From afar, I seem smooth and loving, but from up close, I have been told I have a harsher attitude.

But then, so do many koala people. Everyone my age carries the properties of some animal. There is a perfectly scientific and logical reason behind it.

Years ago, we ran out of space on earth. The number of people populating the earth outnumbered all other species beyond anyone’s expectations. Urbanized spaces spread more and more until all cities became juxtaposed and the whole earth became one huge village…

Naturally, most animals had to yield their habitats to humans. Even maritime life was not spared, since floating cities joined one after another through bridges of various sizes spread throughout the oceans. The new hip travel venture became a round the world trip in a car.

A few others, still hoping to draw attention to what the world was turning into, made the trip on foot. They passed from land to bridge to island to bridge to continent until they reached their starting point.

There was always some concern about the ecosystem, or whatever was left of it. But when even household animals such as cats and dogs became too much of a burden on the overpopulated earth, new regulations and restrictions came into effect. We only heard bits and pieces of these and never thought we would be much affected by them.

But as most centennial elderly died of old age, but very few, almost no babies were born year after year, people came to realize that the rumors were true. Without publicizing their decisions, the governors of every one of the zones around the world had decided to modify our nutrients produced from in the deepest parts of the oceans, the only cultivable places left. Thus, everyone had become sterile.

This went on until a certain decrease was observed in the total population. Then, followed a new announcement:

There was a solution to the sterility but it could only be applied under strict government observation. Citizens who wished to have a child, of course along with certain subventions, had to agree to only one condition.

Although we had almost no animals left, the DNA of most had been preserved. Yet as the atmosphere of the earth as well as oceans and lands had been radically altered over the past few centuries, scientists could not be certain that these animals cloned in laboratories would be able to adapt to these changes. In order to help these potential animals thrive and evolve faster in the new order, an idea had been voted by zone governors as the most feasible solution.

The extinct animal DNAs were to be infused with the DNA of the child to be procreated by parents who were willing to sing a contract with the government. Thus, the child would in a way provide a surrogate body for the animals to facilitate their adaptation until they could survive on their own.

Many thought this was more of a divine intervention, a sort of punishment for the selfish deeds humans had undertaken leading to the demolition of a planet once habitable for thousands of species. By means of the Solution, the title my parents read on their contract, as did many others, they were not only taking part in the salvation of the earth and restoring it to a state where many creatures could once again co-exist, but also learning to empathize with all the animals humans had killed.

Word Count: 689

Written in response to Dailypost Challenge, 28 May:

Mutants and Hybrids: If you were one part human, two parts something else — another animal, a plant, an inanimate object — what would the other two parts be?