Friday Fictioneers-Freedom in the Forest

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACopyright-John Dixon

I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.-John Burroughs

‘There is freedom in the forest, not afforded in any city.’ Damon had told her that, but Rhiannon didn’t believe it. Until she slept next to him under the stars last night, a bonfire warming their bones.

She requested a vacation together. The Caribbean Sea and a hotel on the beach. He asked for something simpler, purer. With some trepidation she consented.

Now here she was, seated before a fire she’d made, sipping coffee. The sun rose through the trees, painting Damon’s sleeping face with the colors of morning. Heart brimming with love, she went to him.

100 words/Genre: romance and nature (I guess)

Thank you  Rochelle Wisoff-Fieldsfor hosting Friday Fictioneers. It is an honor and a privilege to have Ms. Rochelle critique my work. Please be sure to go to her page and read their stories too. We are a rather eclectic group and the genres run the gamut.

I welcome kudos and criticism. Happy reading.

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Tuesday’s Forecast Calls for Rebirth

robins

“Some birds are not meant to be caged, that’s all. Their feathers are too bright, their songs too sweet and wild. So you let them go, or when you open the cage to feed them they somehow fly out past you. And the part of you that knows it was wrong to imprison them in the first place rejoices, but still, the place where you live is that much more drab and empty for their departure.”

 Stephen KingRita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption: A Story from Different Seasons

When I woke this morning it was full dark. I showered, did my hair and packed a lunch. In the midst of my running around, daylight came. I stepped outside to start my car. Though the morning was cold, I could feel a shift in season. It seemed as though the change came over night. I could smell newness in the air. Even with frost on the windshield and snow on the ground, I knew Spring was right around the corner. Could almost taste it. I wished for lilacs and the scent of freshly mowed grass. I knew those two wishes wouldn’t come true for awhile.

I sat in the driver’s seat and started my car. Jacked up the front and rear defrosters. As I headed back to the house I saw them, two Red-Breasted Robins. Their feathers appeared brighter in contrast to the stark white snow. I rejoiced in the confirmation that yes, change was coming soon. The snow would melt. The ground would thaw. With that, would come the faint scent of mud and fresh earth in the air. My soul would set fire, knowing that my favorite season was upon us yet again.

And I, along with nature would be reborn.

I Can Fly, I Can Fly, I Can Fly

“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.”
― J.M. BarriePeter Pan

There I stood at the edge of the cliff. I readied myself for the next step. I timidly placed my left foot over the edge, then drew it back. I wasn’t sure if I could do this. I wasn’t sure if I could fly. I prayed for it, but I was still afraid. I can see the beauty of the sky in front of me. The clouds look like cotton candy. I want so badly to fly through them, open my mouth and give them a taste. Are they sweet? Are they bitter? Are they just vapor and as tasteless as water? The colors of the sunrise are grand, the coral pink, the beryl blue, and titan orange. I want to fly closer to the sun. Feel the warmth on my skin. I want to fly and feel free.

I look down and gaze at the sea below. I can hear the roar of the waves as they crash over and over on the rocks. The sound is exhilarating and makes the tiny hairs on the back of my neck erect. My body vibrates with excitement. A smile crosses my lips and I know that I’m ready. I put my left foot forward and feel nothing but air beneath me. Then I place the right foot next to the left one. I am standing on air, and feel nothing but elation. I raise my arms up and feel myself move further away from the side of the cliff. My wings, they protrude from my back. They are like those of an angel. Alabaster, immense, and dazzlingly beautiful. Yet they are lightweight.

My clothing changes to a gauzy purple gown. Light and as beautiful as my wings.  My wings spread and I ascend. I can’t believe how free I feel. How this flying feels like second nature. All it took was a little pixie dust and faith. The belief that I could fly. I move close to the pink cloud, look behind me and see that the cliff is miles away. I feel no fear.  My wings as they flutter, move me closer to that glorious cloud. I finally hover within it, grab a piece and place the fluffy goodness in my mouth. The burst of sugary sweetness is so overpowering it knocks me backward. All the better to see the blue of the sky and feel the warmth of  the rising sun. I can still taste the sugar of the cloud in my mouth. I’m smiling as I lay on my back and fly like I’m doing the backstroke.

This is my ocean. I can see all the way to the bottom and I feel no fear. I turn over on my stomach, flap my wings and fly closer to the orange of the sun. As I fly, I think of the quote from Peter Pan, “Second star to the right and straight on till morning.”  Will I find Neverland? Will Tink share her pixie dust? Hmmm, once I get to my destination, we’ll see.

A Crisp November Morning

Crisp morning, November 15.

red-yellow sunrise, opening day of rifle season.

His gun, rests against the tree.

The Hunter stands with a Thermos of coffee.

Steam rises from it as he unscrews the lid.

He places the cup to his lips and drains it.

Places it back on the Thermos and sets it on the ground.

He is clad in blaze orange, quilted coveralls to hold in warmth on this brisk morning.

There is birdsong, and he sees an eagle take flight above the low lying mist.

He hears the call of wild turkeys in the distance.

The mist shrouds the dormant corn field and the lower branches of a tree.

There is movement.

And in the distance, the Hunter sees him.

The Buck.

His majestic head is lowered to the ground, eating leftover  husk.

The Hunter reaches for his rifle, still against the tree.

The Buck hears the sound of the hunter’s sleeves.

He raises his head, and the Hunter looks at him in wide wonder.

All eight points of his rack reach for the Heavens.

He resets the safety and lowers his weapon.

The deer nibbles on the husk still in his mouth, and watches the Hunter.

The Hunter watches the Hunted.

There comes a snap of twig, birds take flight in the rising sun and the Buck leaps into the mist.

The Hunter grabs his Thermos of coffee, refills his cup and waits.

Bittersweet Day in Pines

Cherry pie from Lee and Carol for mulching their gardens. Game nights at the Perez’s. Campfires on our patio unitl 3 AM. Wine, beer, and booze flowed along with our running mouths that never tired. We talked politics, religion, food, children, love, family and the meaning of life. We’ve even done some dancing on that patio.

The kids drove around on golf carts until curfew. Then there’d be tons of them playing cards and video games all over the house. Meg’s first love lived there. They would see each other every weekend. They were even caught making out on the beach. Imagine my surprise when the ranger came to tell me all about it!

Meggie and Adam Boy lived and worked a few summers there.  They were lifeguards, recreation staff, and the keepers of little children. They even created a competitive swim program.

I loved the beach, the pool and the hot sun. I read tons of books, wrote and slept. I’ll miss that part of it I’m sure.  I find peace on a beach, with the sand in my toes and sunscreen on my skin.

Roger and his crew rewired the the Florida room. I wouldn’t let them have a cocktail till the work was done. After the work was finished they proceeded to get hammered. Roger passed out in living room and Adam and I ate his pizza.

Roger Darling went airborne when he tripped on a loose patio block. I nearly lost my ever loving mind I was laughing so hard. He didn’t find it that hilarious as he was laying in the flower garden.

I showed my boobs to one of our best male friends. I thought Rog was going to faint he was laughing so hard. I tell ya, he’s never surprised by the crazy shit I do.

I threw my back out and had to be taken by ambulance to the hospital. My wonderful neighbor Max came over and held my hand. Everyone around me was freaking out and yelling. But Max, he knew exactly what to do to calm me.

We’ve changed houses, built decks, landscaped and beautified our little piece of the Pines. Our little piece of heaven. It’s D, G and M’s place now. I hope they make as many wonderful memories there as we did.

Fresh Air and a Winding Road

Fresh Air and a Winding Road

Many times I’ve been alone And many times I’ve cried Anyway you’ll never know The many ways I’ve tried She perches her designer sunglasses on her pert nose, wraps a colorful scarf around her neck and drops the BMW in … Continue reading

A Hastening Heart Finds Peace in Dew

Thank you Help Me Rhonda for the photo 

The sun emerges from behind the trees at the beginning of her morning run. She always runs in Central Park. Headphones are blaring a little Foo Fighters to get her heart going and to help her keep pace. It’s a warm morning and a little too humid for Spring. She’s clad in a tank shirt, running shorts, and bright purple running shoes. She loves purple, it’s one of her favorites. Running is too. It keeps her lithe, lean, and healthy. Makes her smile at the thought of pushing her body to it’s limits. Makes her feel alive. Free.

As her feet keep pace with her breathing, she takes in the scenery. The scents and the sounds too. She loves running this route. Looking at the folks sitting on park benches. They’re feeding bread crumbs to the birds and the squirrels. She slides over to the far most side of the path so as not to disturb the animals and their feeding time. After she passes them she slide back to the middle of the path and picks up her running pace.

Her heart rate increases and so does her breathing. She loves this part of the run. She’s run two miles out of her normal three mile trek. With the increase in respiration she can smell the freshly blooming flowers on the path. She loves this time of the year. She knows the lilacs will be in bloom soon. She thinks, what is better than the aroma of those purple beauties? She sees new leaves on all of the trees. Everything is so green. Even she feels young and new today.

Then she sees it. It stops her dead in her tracks. Her heartbeat is heavy in her ears, her breathing still quick and her body does not want to rest yet. But she has to stop. For she sees in the path, a lone stalk of new wheat. It is green, glistening and bent over with the weight of morning dew. The sun hits it perfectly. She is mesmerized because it reminds her of home. Of Michigan and of younger days and running in wheat fields. It reminds her of her first kiss. Laying in the wheat field behind the farmhouse she lived in as a kid.

She walks up to it and then drops to her knees to take a closer look. She decides, what the hell and lays down next to it. Just like when she was a kid. From this angle she feels 15 again. She remembers kissing that boy in the wheat field. She smiles and looks at the stalk. She sees the sun shining through the dew. Reaches out and touches it lightly with one fingertip. She touches the dew drenched tip to her lips and remembers him.

Super Sweet Blogging Award

Yesterday, I received a nomination for a Super Sweet Blogging Award by Patricia Awapara, a very creative blogger. She’s an artist and a writer. She has published short stories and a book too. Check out her page. Oh and she’s quite the beauty too. 😉

I am honored to receive the award! Actually I’m freaked out and overwhelmed, but I’m happy.

1. Thank the super sweet blogger that nominated them. Thank you Patricia Awapara!!!

2. Nominate a baker’s dozen of other bloggers. 13 to be exact. 😉

3. Answer 5 super sweet questions.

4. Add the Super Sweet Blogging Award image to your blog post.

5. Notify your nominees at their blogs (I super suck at this, sorry!)

Questions

1.Cookies or Cake? Neither. I’m actually a huge sucker fan. Sweet and Sour Charms Pops are my favorite. Blue Raspberry flavor because they turn my tongue blue. Giggle.

2. Chocolate or Vanilla? Neither. I’d rather Sweet Tarts or Sour Patch Kids. Ooohhh or neon gummie worms. YUM!

3. What is your fave sweet treat? Creme Brulee. I’d rub it all over my boobs if I could. Gah, I love it!!

4. When do you crave sweet things the most? It’s not a specific time really. It’s more about the quality of the sweet. If I knew of a place that served Creme Brulee that would give me an orgasm, then I’d walk there if I had to. Har!

5. If you had a sweet nickname, what would it be? Oh that’s easy. It’d be Sweetness.

Now, let’s open the envelope to read the new nominees! tatatan! It was a hard choice. (I love these blog awards, they are a great way to promote each other.)

1. Picture Bandit (His work is exemplary. It moves me, every time I view it.)

2. Pieces (Her work is gorgeous. It inspires me.)

3. tekArtist (Beautiful work, and he’s kinda hot too.)

4. SexySoulStar(Geoff’s images inspire me to write volumes. I can’t even put into words how his work stirs my soul.)

5.  Living on the Edge of the Wild (Beautiful photography, beautiful.)

6.  Voiceless in America They reblog my entries and that makes my sparkly heart go pitter pat.

7. Cat Forsely She writes beautiful poetry and music. She’s my Punkin and I’m her Marilyn.

8. A Nine Pound Hammer or a Woman Like You….. His posts are simple and to the point. And I love his Saturday Morning Pin Up posts.

9. Hovercraft Doggy This one catches images that make me all twitterpated.

10. The Eye of Faith Vintage photographs, vintage Hollywood, vintage men and women. Sigh and purrrrrrr.

11. rprtphoto This blogger has an incredible eye. The images they capture are stupendous.

12. Have a Dream Wordless Wednesday posts are my fave.

13. Lead.Learn.Live David’s work woos me.

I follow gobs of blogs my sweet friends. I still have three more noms to get to. Promise to give you other great ones to follow. Now I’m off to edit my Civil War story. Thanks for the love. Guess it’s true, the love you get, is equal to the love you give. Have an awesome day  y’all.

Sunrise, Coffee, and Sanctuary

With each sunrise we start anew

Vanessa sits on her porch in the stillness of the morning. She sees the sun coming up through the maple tree in the back yard. Her coffee is next to her. Filled to the brim with dark roast, real creamer, and a drizzle of caramel sauce. She’s reading. One of her go to books of the summer. It’s set in the South of course. She thinks she was a debutante in a former life. She’s always been drawn to those types of books. Romance, in the South. Life, in the South. Even with the bigotry, she still feels drawn there.

She sets her book down on the table next to her. And watches the sun ascend and become brighter. Its color changing from dark orange to a warm yellow, like the color of an egg yolk. It’s like she hears it. It sizzles, cracks and pops. Like a campfire that is only embers, and the wood splits with the intense heat of it.

Vanessa looks to the right and sees the swimming hole n the side yard. It’s one of the reasons that she and Liam picked this place to live. To love. The sun’s rays cause a reflection on the water in the morning light. She thinks of him, and smiles. She left him sleeping, so she could read, and watch the sunrise. It’s been a busy few days for them. They’re finally together, in the same place. No more running back and forth from place to place.

They have their sanctuary, in the middle of nowhere. It’s just them. Finally. No need for commitment. Or wedding rings. There’s just bliss. They get to, just be. The sun is higher in the sky. The flies and bees begin to buzz around her. Vanessa doesn’t care though. She picks up her coffee mug and takes a huge drink. It’s cold, but the caramel still tastes fantastic!

She rises from her chair and descends the three concrete steps of the wraparound porch. She makes a right and heads to the swimming hole. She starts taking off her clothes as she walks to the waters edge. Her tank shirt is the first to go. She just leaves it in the grass. Next go her sleep pants. Again, in the grass. When she gets to the waters edge, she takes off her boys shorts and flings them off her fingers. She jumps head first in the water.

As Vanessa resurfaces, shakes her head and opens her eyes. She sees Liam standing on the shore. He’s the love of her life. He’s naked of course. He’s always naked. And he’s smiling. Actually he’s laughing. He always laughs when he’s with his silly girl. He jumps in the water and swims up to her. They wrap their arms around each other, kiss passionately and smile. She blushes. For some reason he still makes her blush.

She says to him, My God you are perfect. This is perfect. He says, Honey I’m far from perfect. I’ll settle for decent. She says, Okay we are not perfect, we are decent. But this life, this life will be perfect. He says to her, I think we finally got it right.

They hold each other in the water. Their bodies entwined and shivering in the morning light. They look around at their sanctuary and then descend below the surface to share a kiss.

Then She Prays

“Seldom is a wheat field as terribly sown.”

She stands staring at the sky, in a field filled with wheat ready for harvest. She places her hands in it. She grips the stalks in her fingers. Feels the course beauty of it. Smells the wholesomeness of it in the air.  The wind makes it sway to and fro as she releases it. Her head is spinning and she wonders how she got here. All she remembers is running. Away from the pain of the news she’d just heard. Of the phone call and what they said.

She looks up again and sees the blue of the sky. The clouds like cotton. The sun’s golden rays passing through them. It’s like seeing God when she stares at those streams of light. She has to mourn her grief. Her loss. She wonders how she’ll go on without him. Without them. Where does she begin? How does she live?

She raises her fists into the air and wails. It’s not the cry of a small child, but the scream and rant of a wounded animal. She keeps screaming until she is spent. Her hands raised, she keeps cursing at God. She keeps asking why. Finally, her knees buckle at her utter exhaustion. She falls to the ground. She lays in that fragrant and warm wheat field. Finally after many minutes, she gets to her knees, clasps her hands together, and closes her eyes. She feels the breeze blow her hair as if God himself was touching her. Her trembling subsides and she begins to pray.