Happy ‘Fucking’ Thursday my friends. May it be a good one.
Love, Sparkly Nee
Shrooms shared with strangers.
Rebellious young woman, aboard a technicolor bus.
Trees are blue.
Tasting colors and seeing sounds.
Voices come to Melanie like the droning of adults on Charlie Brown cartoons.
Wah, wah, wah, wah….
Thought there’d be free love.
No such thing.
Everything has a price.
Even sex without that word.
Wanted to be enlightened; intellectual.
Have to get off this bus now.
To go home.
Covered in grime from days with strangers.
Will a hot shower remove the dirt?
Of past, present, future?
Melanie exits the bus.
Extends thumb, to begin her journey home.
100 words/Genre: General Fiction
Thank you Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting Friday Fictioneers. Please be sure to go to her page and read the stories from other writers. We are a rather eclectic group. I welcome kudos and criticism. Bring it on!
Home is a name, a word, it is a strong one; stronger than magician ever spoke, or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration.
Penny, teddy bear in hand, stood in the hallway painted an industrial gray. Helen, the case worker, handed her the worn suitcase packed with clothing, issued to her by the state. Though 17 years old, Penny felt trepidation about her new family. John and Marsha, her adoptive parents walked up to her, eyes and hearts brimming with love. All that was left of their long journey to become a family, was their short car ride home.
What it’s all about: Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.
This week: HOME
Thank you Lillie McFerrin for hosting FSF.
“The most painful goodbyes are the ones that are never said and never explained …
I remember how warm it was on March 26, two years ago. I stood in the yard of Linda’s parents house. I was anxious to see her, but not her mom, dad and siblings. The final year of her life had not been easy on her. Or any of us for that matter. She had cancer, and had left all of us to live with her parents. Her daughter Claire, and my son Adam, met me in the front yard. We shared hugs and a few words. I hugged Linda’s daughter Ally Girl too. David, Linda’s husband, met me at the door. We chatted as I walked through the foyer into the living room. Then I saw her, surrounded by her sister and mother. My dear friend was lying in a hospital bed in the living room, dying. We hadn’t spoken to each other in months. Now all I could do was hold her hand and weep.
Tears streamed down my face, and I could barely speak for the lump in my throat. I kept talking to her all the same. Kept crying. The funny thing was, not one of her siblings or parents offered a word of comfort to me. Her children, Ally and Clair did, and no one else. They stood idly by and let me bawl. That proved what kind of people they were-cold. I laid my head next to hers and let the tears dampen her pillow. I listened to her labored breathing and knew it was only a matter of time before she expired. I leaned up on my elbow and stroked her blonde hair. We were sisters once. BFFs. Swim Mommas. I was hoping some day we’d be connected when and if our children got married.
I watched Ally administer medicine and speak to Linda like she wasn’t dying. She carried on the one-sided conversation and stated that she was learning to be a caregiver. Adam and Claire played cards on the couch. All they wanted was to be normal. Adam Boy had lost his grandmother, my mother-in-law to cancer a few years earlier. He knew the importance of chilling out and letting nature take it’s course. We were met with opposition to our loud voices, and boisterous laughter. We tuned it out though.
I know it’s been two years since Linda died, and the hole in my heart doesn’t ache nearly as bad as it did. I find I’m filling it with more love for the friends that are still with me. Claire and Adam are still together. Ally and Alex are getting married this summer. She and my Meggie are still the best of friends. David found a new love and married her. It just goes to show you, time marches on. Whether we want it to or not. I do miss Linda though, and whenever spring rolls around my thoughts always turn to her.
t is a genius. I will never be this good. t is good without even trying.
Daddy, why did you leave the gate open? Why did you allow me to simply slide through and out?
Darling, I had to. There was no other way for you to test your weight, to find your way.
But daddy, I might have gotten lost.
Darling, I had no doubt that you would, and I wasn’t surprised when you eventually did.
Daddy, how then did I return? How did I find my way back?
You didn’t darling. You didn’t.
But I am here now.
While I may have been lost to you, you were never lost to me. I watched you run, first with glee, then in confusion, and finally with pain. When your running ran out, and you collapsed at the curb of disillusionment, I brought you home darling. Just as I always promised I would, for I will not allow you to fade away.
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If you have a dog, you will most likely outlive it; to get a dog is to open yourself to profound joy and,
prospectively, to equally profound sadness.-Marjorie Garber
I stood in front of the large metal sink and giggled to myself. Ozzy, the Golden Retriever waited expectantly for me to start dousing him with warm water.
“Oh aren’t you a little sweetie pie. I just love you,” I said in a soothing tone as I patted his muzzle.
In response, he snuggled my cheek and gave me a quick lick with his tongue. My heart melted. As I sprayed him with the directional nozzle, I thought about the last six months. I’d had every weekend off, but I didn’t feel complete. I missed my Salon Bitches. I missed the barking dogs. The nail clippings, the baths, the smells, and even the occasional nip by the anxious and scared puppy.
I missed being doused with water and the exhaustion that came with heaving dogs up and down from the grooming table. I missed seeing the end result of the bathing process. My dogs are divas when they prance out to their pet parents. They know they look good.
I missed Marlena, Clara, Humphrey, and Clark. My life wasn’t complete without them. They are my other children.
Marlena had just given Clark a Mohawk. He looked so damn handsome. I placed my arms around him and braced myself. I knew his hug would be fierce. It was as I expected. Intense; warm.
Marlena and I shared secrets and tears. God, how I missed her warm embrace and the sweetness of her heart.
Clara walked in and started dancing around and giving me precious hugs. Her blonde hair is finally shoulder length. She is more beautiful than I remember.
Humphrey came in not much later and gave me hugs and dry humps. He yelled, “Don’t you ever leave us again, you whore.” I responded, “I promise I won’t. As long as you keep calling me a whore, ya slut.”
There were nails to trim. Stories to tell. Lives to catch up on. Dogs to wash. Ears to clean. Gossip to share. Hair clippings to be swept up. Hearts to mend…
During the course of the day I silently observed Marlena, Clara and Humphrey. I wondered how I could have stayed away. I belonged here.
I finished washing Ozzy. Taking care to cover his eyes when I was rinsing his head. Then I expertly dried him with the high velocity blow dryer. By the time Ozzy was dry, I looked like an 80’s hair metal god. I removed him from the tub and walked him to his condo, set the floor dryer on high and headed back out to the salon.
Marlena made the comment, “Our Sundays are complete again.”
I agreed with her and screamed my trademark line, “Eat the kitty. Eat it! Eat it!” I made a V with my fingers and stuck my tongue through it.
My friends lost their minds, and so did I.
I finally felt complete. Like I was home.
As I was sorting through my FB news feed yesterday, I came across this beautiful poem by Lily Miller. She is the bright young child of my friend Trista. I commented that her daughter is a writer. Even at the tender age of ten years old. I asked the proud momma if I could post this on my blog. As you can see, she obliged. I have read the verse repeatedly. I find such feeling in the simplicity of the words. How blessed Trista must feel having a child feel this way about her. Then be able to convey those feelings. I am in awe. I know that the proud momma is too. Lily has built a great memory for her mother. I hope that the lovely young writer keeps writing. She most definitely has the talent for it.
Now to finish my coffee and write another story. Happy Saturday my dear friends.
She was drunk. She had hoped it would help her sleep. She had hoped it would help her to be able to finally climb into the bed that she had shared with her husband of over 20 years with. She was so tired. So fucking tired. Her husband had been convicted of hurting a child. Her youngest son had run off in response, while her oldest stayed by her side. She’d been barely holding it together for too long. Living in a little cocoon. But at that moment of trying to get into bed, she finally broke down. Finally, she laid on the floor and wailed. Her oldest son, her child, her baby, had to see her in her weakest state. Drunk, and sobbing uncontrollably because she couldn’t get into the bed she had shared with a man who was now in jail, as he would be for years to come. She begged her son to call her mother. He did, while taking care of her as well. He waited for his grandma to get there and put his mother to bed, so she could get some rest after living a nightmare that actually came true.
She walks into the bar and I see her as she once was, when we were just teens. Striding towards me, she is statuesque, blonde, violet blue eyes, and wearing a huge smile. As she zips to the table, so many men turn their heads to look at her. Some of them appear to get whiplash as a result. She’s a ravishing beauty after all that she’s been through. We hug for what seems like forever. We haven’t seen each other in 26 years, but you’d never know it, by the sounds of our laughter and the constant exchanges of “I love you.” I think to myself, “Oh my God how did I ever let this light out of my life?” We were best friends at one time. But life pulls us in different directions. Even though we lived just a few towns away from each other, our lives were busy. She was married, and so was I. We’d each had two children. We were part of our community, and our kids kept us plenty busy.
I’ve already ordered her a Bud Light. I’m sipping white zinfandel and water, because I have to drive home after our meeting. We sit down and start talking. She goes first because she has a story to tell. One that is difficult to hold in. I let her have the floor. I let her go, and let go she does.
But this story is not about her ex-husband. This story is not about her sons. This story is about her. A beautiful woman, that was my best friend during our teenage years. She and I fell away as high school friends often do. We find lovers that we marry and plan on staying with for the rest of our lives. We have children that mean everything to us, that make us better somehow. That we in turn make better by raising them up right. We become involved in the places that we live, in our communities, in our children’s activities, in our lives. It becomes our lives and nothing else matters. But then the unthinkable happens: your husband is accused of taking advantage of a young woman.
She told me that she knew that the light had switched in his brain somehow. They’d been married for 20 years and he started becoming abusive – mentally at first, and then physically. But she had been living with the mental abuse, or as she called it, “passive-aggressiveness” for so long she knew how to diffuse it. For some reason though, this time she no longer could. He started hitting her. Why after so long? She has no idea. But he did hit her. He made her feel small, like she was inadequate. He turned into a stranger. Someone she didn’t even know. She stayed though, for her kids, for the idea that they were “pillars” of the community. They took good care of their kids and the kids of their friends.
When her husband eventually went to prison, she hid herself away. Her youngest son started his senior year of high school shortly thereafter. He told her that he was dealing with some aggression at a home football game. That was what brought her out of her funk. She said to her self, “no one is going to make my child pay for the sins of my husband.” So the next football game, she went. She dealt with the animosity, so that her son didn’t have to. She is one tough momma bear and she loves her boy immensely. While she was there she saw a good friend of the family who, taking her hand said, “If you need anything, anything at all, call me.” She looked at him and knew that he meant every word he said.
She did eventually call him, and they became inseparable. He brought her back to life. He helped her figure out her way, helped her figure out how to continue to take care of her boys, even though she was damaged. He helped her to realize that the man she had married all those years ago was no long the same man. He helped her figure out that the men that were contacting her with offers of help, were only wanting to take advantage of her. To fuck her, own her, hurt her even more, and then disregard her like yesterday’s trash. If she didn’t have this wonderful, flawed man in his own right by her side during this time, who knows what mistakes she might have made.
She finalized her divorce as quickly as possible. She lived in utter poverty for two years. Sometimes, without even electricity, warm water, heat, or food. In short, all the damn things that we normally take for granted. She had nothing. Every time she went to an interview, they would uncover her history and the job offer would disappear. She would think to her self, “They have no reason to judge me. I am NOT the sins of my husband. I am ME!”
Taking a break, we both look at the crucifixes around our necks. As our conversations have progressed, we keep touching them throughout. This recognition turns our conversation towards the topic of faith, and therapy, but mostly faith. We realize as we hold hands across the table and cry, that our faith is what’s gets us through. I told her I haven’t taken my crucifix off for 14 years. When I had to have an MRI recently, it killed me to remove it for even that hour. She told me that her original crucifix broke, and she found herself lost without it. She then acquired the one that she wears now, and she finds herself touching it daily. It’s her center, as it is mine. She says that without her boyfriend, her faith and her therapist, she would have never made it through this part of her life.
She’s grown. She’s changed. Yet she’s still the wonderful and fun girl she always was. With a twinge of jealousy, she looks at me and says, “You are so lucky. You get to grow old with the man that loves you. My ex-husband stole that from me.” She does tell me though that she has been redeemed with her new love. The man who simply took her hand at a football game, and said if you ever need me, call. God, she is so glad that she did.
I think she’ll make it, I do. I think she has found her happiness. She’s found it in her children and in this new man that accepts her for what she is – good woman, with a tough past. But then again, who doesn’t have a tough past? Who doesn’t have a broken road? Isn’t it astonishing when that broken road leads us to the right one?
As I leave her, we hug some more. We once again exchange our “I love you’s.” We promise to not leave 26 years between us again. And we haven’t. We talk almost daily. She is of my heart and one of the strongest women I know. I love her now and forever. What her husband did, doesn’t define her, or her grown up babies. I admire her strength and the ferocity of her love. She is a good woman, a strong woman. And she always will be.
***Edited by t from aslongasimsinging.wordpress.com. Read him. The man rocks my world, and makes my pretty words more beautiful with his touch. This may be my last post for awhile. I promise to come back. Just not sure when. Take care my dear readers and followers.***
Mary stands at the window with her two children. Their faces bear the remnants of tears. They know she is leaving for another business trip, but they want her to stay home. She looks into their sweet faces, and tells them that this is her job and her livelihood. That she must go. That she must get on a plane and let it take her to far away places. She tells them that they are always with her. That they are always by her side and in her heart.
She takes them outside and the three of them look up at the moon. She says, You see that moon? That moon goes with me wherever I go. It goes with you wherever you two go. So when mommy is gone, look up at that moon. Know that I am looking at that same moon and I am loving you. I’m thinking of you and I’m missing you. I may be 5,000 miles away, but I am right here looking at the moon with you.
Mary leans down and wraps her arms around her children. They squeeze each other tight. She thinks to herself how much she hates leaving them. She’s so thankful for James though. He’s the rock in all of this change they go through when she takes a trip. She stands up and sees her sweet James in the doorway. He’s watching her and the kids. He comes out to stand with his family. Then the four of them look up at the moon, together. James and Mary then realize, just how small the world really is.
Home should be an oratorio of the memory, singing to all our after life melodies and harmonies of old remembered joy.
HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit
She and Baby Girl sit side by side on the plane. Baby by the window, Momma in the aisle seat. She looks out the window while holding her young one. Baby Girl is sleeping and cuddled in close. She looks at her baby. She’s seven, but she acts like she’s 20. She’s beautiful, like her Daddy. Brown hair, hazel eyes, her hair is long with curly ringlets. Her baby is seven, but looking at her still takes her breath away. Why is that? Why do Mommas feel that way about their children? She turns her attention out the plane window. She gazes at the beautiful clouds; she daydreams of home. Remembers what it was like when she was young. She looks down at her young one, and wants for her what she once had. The fun and sad experiences. Playing with neighborhood children and growing up right.
She closes her eyes. Sees home in her mind. What it once was, when she was young. Green everywhere. Trees. A garden lane leading to an enormous wrap around porch. The house is more like a plantation home. It should have been built in the South, in all of it’s Antebellum splendor. It’s not just a house. It’s a home. She’s still daydreaming and holding her young one close, as she feels the plane begin it’s descent. She knows that they’ll be home soon. The taxi will drive up that tree lined garden lane. She’ll see Momma and Daddy standing on the porch of a house that should have been built in the South. They’ll run to each other, hug, laugh and cry tears of joy. She’ll look at her young daughter hugging her grandma and grandpa. She’ll know that after searching for so long, that she and Baby Girl are finally, finally home.
23 years old girl travelling solo on a motorcycle.
A brief portfolio of writing by Ally Askew
Forty Matches to Finding Myself
Authentic Stories of Addiction and Sobriety
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