Vortex

Stacey closed her twitter app and opened facebook, she closed that to open tumblr.

She scrolled down to see if she missed something…

No, she had seen it all before.

Stacy threw the Ipad down on the bed in frustration, tears formed in her eyes that she couldn’t explain.

She had one last look and noticed an image she hadn’t  before,

“Who is HappySmilingPeople?”she wondered.

She clicked on the icon and was sucked into the screen.

When she opened her eyes she was flying over fields in a zeppelin somewhere.

She smiled with an exhilaration never known before.

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

100 or maybe 101 words of flash fiction brought to by the lovely Madison Wood‘s picture prompt for Friday Fictioneers this week:

Join them it’s fun. a nice break from WIP’S that might be frustrating you (okay me) right now. 🙂

*Edited with help from the lovely Lindaura .

Advertisements

A Family Secret 13-Thanksgiving

Josh and Luis were scheduled to get there any minute. They were on holiday for Thanksgiving and it had been decided that Josh would come eat dinner with their family as his parents usually went on a cruise during this time of year. He would stay in the guest room that night and Luis, Lucy and he would go camping the next day and the next day after that if all went well.

Lucy always helped with Thanksgiving and the night before she had helped Janie make five different pies and her signature fruit salad with rice in it. This morning she had woken up early with her mom to get a start on the turkey and whatever else they could get started. Janie was still in the kitchen finishing up the last of the dishes.. Lucy would have been in there too but as the hour for the expected arrival grew closer, her hands grew clumsy and she was finally sent out of the kitchen to watch the parade with her dad.

Lucy was excited to see her brother again but he wasn’t the reason why she kept checking out the windows and pacing in the front hallway. Even her father noticed. He said that he would change her nickname to Grasshopper if she didn’t quit jumping up every five minutes. Every knock on the door made her rush to answer it, but so far it had only been her sisters and their families. Her eagerness for them to get there started to turn to worry, what if something had happened? She felt over warm and decided to go outside to wait instead.  She had just put on her sweater and was headed out when she heard her cousin Martha calling out to her.

“Hey Lucy, I wanted to introduce Brian to you officially.”

Lucy gave both  a big smile and firm handshake as she had always been taught to do. Martha’s eyes never left Brian’s face and her hand never left his arm, she looked blissed up and in love. This was a good thing, Lucy’s cousin had always been a good friend but had turned really boy crazy as she got older which had distanced them somewhat.

She had just returned with drinks for them when she saw Josh and Abel come into the living room archway. Josh was just as good-looking and charming standing there in her living room as he had been in her dreams. She watched him make his way into the room in an elegant but easy stride, stopping to be introduced when necessary. Lucy loved how he kept bending down a bit to be more on a level with those who came to say hello to him.

“And who is that nice looking fellow with Luis, besides a man who you are crushing on?” Martha’s voice brought her back to herself.

“Oh don’t be silly. That’s just Josh, he’s Luis’s good friend from San Antonio.” Lucy tried to sound unmoved by it but felt her face burning hot and excused herself to use the upstairs bathroom. She had been in such a hurry for  Josh to get there but her cousin’s lucky guess made her want to just hide herself away for the rest of the day.

Instead she returned to helping her mom out in the kitchen. By now her sisters had started helping out too and she struggled to find something to do. The first tray of rolls had already come out of the oven but Lucy knew that they would go fast. She told them all that  she would be on roll duty. Lucy pulled a tray full of the white mounds of dough and popped them into the oven and took out another tray and left them to rise in its place on the counter.

She stayed in the kitchen while her sisters took the rest of the food out and placed it on a buffet table they had set up in the dining room. Everyone would grab a plate and serve themselves and then find a seat among those scattered throughout the house. There was even a table set outside, as it was usual for the family to bring extra guests at the last-minute.

Once the timer dinged Lucy opened the oven to check on her rolls. The blast of heat that hit her face always made her turn away at first, but then she adjusted her eyes and when she saw that the rolls were golden and perfect, she took the out quickly.

The smell of freshly baked bread always made her sigh with happiness and she took a deep breath to calm her nerves before shaking the rolls off of the tray and into the napkin lined basket she had waiting.

She waited a few more seconds at the doorway and then walked out into the dining room. Everyone was in the middle of waiting in line and talking or serving themselves from the buffet. She thought of leaving the basket and then heading back to the safety of the kitchen for a minute. This is silly, she told herself, I’ll wedge my way to the table, set down this basket and then get in line. A familiar voice interrupted her thoughts.

This is a continuation of my Nanowrimo novel;for part 12 go here, part 14 can be found here. All past parts of this can be found on the  A Family Secret page. 🙂 Thanks for reading!

A Family Secret 12

Today was her Mom’s day to clean the church she regularly  attended and Lucy felt like she should be there to help. The church was a small mission without the extra money to hire a cleaning service so the members took turns doing the cleaning and yard work, usually signing up for days as a family. Lucy remembered helping with her brother when they were younger. She felt a slight pang of guilt, how long had it been since her mom had had any help cleaning the church? She had stopped attending church services for a while now. It hadn’t really been a conscientious decision, it had just happened.

She believed in God, and she believed in Jesus, she just didn’t quite do all of the things as a believer that she felt she should. It had been forever since she had last opened a Bible or even prayed. This seemed even worse to her because of what they had just been through,

Her grandma being sick, her mother grieving her loss, shouldn’t she have prayed for guidance or help?   It saddened her that the thought hadn’t even come to her.

Lucy had just finished up mopping the long hallway at the entrance to the church.  She was so deep in thought that she didn’t hear the footsteps behind her. All of a sudden a hand came to rest on her shoulder. She let out a gasp and jumped backwards.

“Sheesh, Lucy, I didn’t mean to scare you. What would you be scared of inside a church, anyway?”

“I’m sorry, it was nothing of course. You just startled me, I wasn’t thinking.  Or maybe I was thinking too much. What’s up?”

“I was just seeing if you were finished. Your dad wants to lock up already.”

“He finished all of the yard work already? Yes, I’m almost finished here, Mom. I guess I wasn’t much help here after all, huh?”

“Don’t be silly, I’m really glad that you came today.”

“I’m going to make sure and come with you from now on. And wake me up in time for church service tomorrow?”

Of course I can.” Janie felt guilty about the huge grin across her mother’s face. She didn’t know why she had stopped going to church in the first place and she didn’t know why she felt the need to go back now.

“Mom you used to be Catholic, right? How did you know that it was the right thing to become a Baptist? Or did you just do that for dad?”

“Lucy, you do not understand how strong my love was for the Catholic Church. My mother raised us all to be good Catholic girls, the priests used to drill into our heads what a big sin we would be guilty of if we ever left the church. I would have never have left my faith for a man. I didn’t leave the church for your father, when I got married I was still a Catholic. I converted years later after going to a few services at his church. And when I was called to that altar, I know that it was God calling me there.”

“What do you mean?”

“ I mean that I did not want to go up there. The whole time that the preacher was giving his invitation, I felt the need to go up there but I fought it. When I finally did walk up the aisle there were tears in my eyes, but not from guilt, from pure hardheadedness! But my going up there even though I didn’t want to go was enough, I was enveloped in this warmth, I felt God’s love for me for the first time and there was no going back after that. Back then we used to burn our trash and so when we got home I grabbed the trash that we had in the house and threw all of my saints and rosaries  in the bag and just burned it all. I felt like that was what I should do, and I still don’t regret that. However, that decision had a lot of consequences.”

“Grandma was angry.”

“Oh, your grandma was furious, they all were. I was so naïve and just on fire for the Lord, I think that I thought that I would convert my whole family.’

Janie could still see the faces of those that she loved yelling at her and then asking her to leave.

“I’m sorry I brought it up mom, especially now.”

“No, it’s okay. I’m sad that your grandma has passed but I am happy because I feel like I made peace with her. This would be unbearable if not for that. I wish we had had more time, but we were blessed to have what we did have.”

Lucy didn’t know what to say so she just hugged her mama until her father came in to see what was taking them so long.

This is a continuation of my Nanowrimo novel;for part 11 go here. All past parts of this can be found on the  A Family Secret page. 🙂 Thanks for reading!

The Snow Wolf

“Follow me.” he growled between closed teeth.

I followed, of course I did, it would be foolish to not  follow what the snow wolf bid of you. He bounded through the forest, making light work of the snowy banks, but I struggled. I was after all only human, as he loved to remind me.

What would have become of me had his mother not taken me in as a child, lost and alone in the woods? I was too young to take care of myself back then, much too young to know now why I was in the woods alone in the first place or what had become of my people.

“Hurry up Cassandra, they are waiting.”

Written for Madison Wood’s FridayFictioneers for the photo prompt shown above. I did go over 100 words, I think my count was 117- next time, I’ll get it next time! 🙂

The Blizzard

The below came about through The Red Dress Club’s prompt for the week,”This weeks prompt is to imagine you are trapped alone or with others at a single place during a ginormous blizzard or its aftermath.”

***************************************************************************************************************

Rachel held the candle up and looked through the pantry shelves again as if food might have miraculously appeared from out of no where. Nope, they were still almost empty. A tug on her skirt caught her attention.

“Momma I’m hungry.” the small voice repeated.

“I gave you some beans, and you haven’t even touched them.” said Rachel.

“I’m tired of eating beans. I want mac-or- roni and cheese.” said Layla doing a little shimmy after each word. Her face was so bright and happy it was killing her.

Usually that would’ve been cute. Now it was just a reminder that no one around her knew the gravity of the situation.

“I told you we don’t have macaroni and cheese. We have beans. And we have rice, but the rice is for supper.” She smiled to herself at the absurdity of it, as if meal planning were even possible when you were limited to two items.

The blizzard had been unexpected. It had started to snow 2 days ago. She remembered standing at the windows with the kids as they cooed and awed each snowflake when it first started. She had even promised that they’d go out in it once the winds died out down. That snowstorm had been consistent and continued into the next morning. And it had left them with around a foot of snow.

They knew more snow was possible but they had never expected the 2 plus feet of snow that had fallen later that night trapping them inside their house. She remembered lying with all of them in her bed as the winds shook the walls of their house. She held each one and promised it would be okay and hoped to herself that it really would be. They got up the next morning to discover that they were pretty much snowed in.

She was angry at herself for not venturing out after the first foot of snow had fallen. She thought it would be best to wait on her husband to get back home and then go from there. They lived so far away from everything and Paul had been out of town on business. Was it even possible for him to get to them now? The chances looked slim at best. And Rachel was housebound with four little ones and dwindling food supplies.

Oh Lord, she thought to herself, why didn’t I go to my mother in law’s when she asked us to? She didn’t want us to stay here alone with Paul out of town. But I wanted to prove that I was capable. Who cares about that now? Poor Thelma she must be worried sick, and who knows if she’s even okay?

She tried not to think about it. The power lines were apparently down, that meant no phone, no television, and no lights. It was if civilization had been wiped out from under her. Their house had a fireplace and that had been their main source of light and heat and where they cooked their meals.

Okay, we have a lot of beans, not so much rice; there are hot cocoa packets and chicken bouillon cubes. She thought to herself.

She suddenly felt stupid for using some of them in the beans she had just cooked, chicken bouillon added flavor to the beans and that was all well and nice but she should’ve saved them to make chicken broth.

Always have a well stocked pantry. It used to be her favorite line before she had gotten laid off. Now it was buy what you can to tide you over to next week. Their shopping day was supposed to have been tomorrow when Paul’s check got direct deposited.

“Mama, macaroni, okay?” smiled Layla

“She doesn’t have macaroni, she just said that!” piped up Sophie

“Okay, I want peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, no jelly.” said Layla

“There’s no peanut butter or jelly either you stupid head just stinky beans, duh.” Continued Sophie

“I’m not a STUPID HEAD! Momma she called me a stupid head!” screamed Layla

“Okay ya’ll need to stop, now. I know that this sucks. It’s what it is I can’t help it, lets not start with the yelling and name calling okay?” said Rachel

“She said suck!” they both said wide eyed “Suck is a naughty word; suck is a naughty word, suck…”

“WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.” Cried the babies from the living room

“Do you see what ya’ll do? Stop now! Stop it now! I can’t…..” Rachael burst into tears shocking them both.

What kind of mother was she? She knew this was bad and that she had to be strong but she was so lost. Why had she let him talk her into moving here? She had never even seen snow before and now she stuck in a damn blizzard, alone. Could she go outside now to get more logs? They had almost run out and she knew that just wasn’t an option. Even with the fireplace going they had to wear several layers just to stay warm. What would they do without it?

“Mama, okay?” asked Layla slipping her chubby little hand into her own. The smallness of it gave her strength and made her weak at the same time.

“Right. Yes, I’m fine. Thank you sweetie”, she squeezed Layla’s hand and dried her eyes. “I’m sorry mommy just had a mini melt down. C’mon lets go have our picnic by the fire okay? We can bring all your stuffed bears and we can even share a hot chocolate, how about that? And guess what? Bears love beans it’s their favorite, okay?” she tried to say it cheerfully what else could she do? She would feed the kids and then see if she could force her way out, she’d hope to God that she could find her way back. What else could she do?

*********************************************************

This post is open to constructive criticism.

Rachel’s End

This week’s Red Writing Hood Prompt was “Water gives life. It also takes it away. Write a short piece – fiction or non-fiction – inspired by one or both of these statements.”

A hand slapping her out of her chair with it’s force and element of surprise, her body’s weight hitting cold tile. The taste of blood in her mouth and the beginning of bruises taking shape.

Whenever she felt like she was about to lose her balance, this was the memory that got conjured up.

The memory came again now as the wave crashed against her, almost knocking her down. But she liked to walk out into the ocean as far as she dared and let wave after wave crash over her. She couldn’t swim so perhaps it was a foolish thing to do, but it made her happy.

The wind whipped her hair against her face and she bent down to cup a little sea water to moisten the errant hairs away from her. The water droplets fell into her mouth in drips, filling her with the taste of the sea. Salt and death, pain and blood.

Rachael willed the thoughts to leave her, this was her time her escape while Bud slept off last night’s party for one. Bud was an angry drunk and she should have known better then to mouth off but, well whatever.

She could take hits like a prizefighter, a skill learned early.

Her father had been like that her exes had been too. She was magnet for girl hitters. But dammit why did they always have to hit her in the face? One hit and she went dizzy, her whole head pounded. And she was always stupid enough to jump back up again too. Impulse, blame it on impulse.

The same impulse that led her to men like Bud, men like her father.

“You think you’re so damn smart don’t ya? Mouthy bitch, with those books you’re always reading. You ain’t nothing, you ain’t better then anyone else, Got it? I’ll make you get it, believe that.”

The ocean betrayed her by bringing those words in it’s roar.

I could keep walking into it.

The thought nagged at her.

I could walk into it farther and just see what happened.

Didn’t Virginia Woolf do the same thing? Just walk and walk into the water till it buried her.

I’m tired. It would be easy, like letting the ocean hug me. If I stopped thinking, if I didn’t struggle…would I float or just sink? I want rest.

The suddenness of the wave woke her up a bit. The same sick, falling feeling came to her. What if I struggle? What if it’s the struggling,falling feeling amplified all the way down? And what happens after?

Death scared her, at least she knew what to expect from Bud.

She stood for a bit while the sand under her feet tried the join the retreating wave and another feeling began in her stomach.

What if I just leave? What if I just leave Bud and me here and all of this and just start over?

It wouldn’t be today if that was her choice, she had spent too long in the waves and the town was beginning to stir. People would be joining her soon, any minute perhaps. But she could plan and figure something out… the beginning of a possibility danced in her stomach and she pushed the urge to just give up to the side.

That urge was still strong, it called to her as she watched the next wave rising up to greet her. The unknown was so scary.

It would be her choice.

Maria

Maria traced a face in the window’s condensation, every now and then she smudged it out, huffed on the glass and started over. The car door opened and interrupted her.

“Sorry that took so long.” said Sandra. She plopped the white container on the seat, sat down and looked through her purse for the key.

Maria let her go on for a few minutes before clearing her throat,”You left it in the ignition.”

“Ha ! You’re right. I’m so slow today. Are you sure you trust me driving you all the way to Austin?”

“I could’ve taken the bus.” answered Maria watching Sandra open the white box to reveal a dozen fancy donuts.

“Don’t be silly. Okay what’s your poison? I got every pretty little thing they had. I tell you what, try this one it’s their best.” Sandra pulled out a glazed donut dripping with pink icing and covered in red and white sprinkles and held it out with the wax paper square still attached.

“Thanks.” said Maria

“I’m taking a quick bite of this coconut concoction and then we can get out of Dodge, yeah?”

Maria watched Sandra’s bright red lips take a big bite, coconut flakes falling onto her lap. Sandra wrapped her donut back in it’s wax paper and placed it back into the box away from the others. She licked her lips free of the frosting that had settled around them and then licked her fingertips making loud smacking sounds as she did.

Maria’s stomach turned a little as she looked down at her own donut. It was the opposite of what she would’ve picked herself. On the rare occasions she had a donut she always picked a cake donut of some kind, preferably blueberry. She poked her fingernail into the pink frosting and let herself taste it. It tasted how it looked, too sweet and artifical. It was strawberry flavor but twenty times removed from what a real strawberry tasted like.

The car started to life and then coasted out of the nearly empty donut shop, it was still really early.

“Sweetie, this is gonna be an awful long ride if you’re gonna mope the whole time. Go on eat your donut Lord, knows you don’t need to be on a diet!” Sandra chuckled a little.

Maria’s face swung up in defense but she realized that Sandra hadn’t meant anything by it. Maria was in fact in the middle of another diet and always oversensitive about it.

“Thank you for taking me back to my mom. I know I haven’t always been the best niece.”

“Oh honey don’t you worry. I’m just sorry that brother of mine has been such an awful father to you. You should have come to us sooner. You’re thirteen years old, a thirteen year old has no business staying at home alone while her father drinks half the town dry. It makes my blood boil, it really does.” Sandra’s right hand went to the box, located her donut and brought it to her lips once more before returning it again.

“I’ll be okay with my mom now. You don’t have to worry. I’m fine. I should have just stayed with her to begin with.”

Maria brought her own donut to her lips and took a bite. She forced her teeth to chew the thickly glazed donut enough so that she could swallow it. It still felt like it was stuck in her throat when she finally did.

She didn’t want to hurt her aunt’s feelings.

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

This was inspired by the TRDC writing prompt pictured above. 🙂