Remembering the Moon

 

When I was little, I wanted to visit the moon.

My mother laughed. Not in that way the other mothers laughed at their kids. Their laughter sounded like chickadees or Christmas bells. And they looked at their sons and daughters, ruffling hair or kissing cheeks, as if to say, “Aren’t they cute?” My mother’s chuckling didn’t say, “Isn’t she cute?” It was a combination of dismissal and disappointment. I never knew how someone could make laughter sound so unpleasant.

My father explained the distance between the earth and the moon. He was “practical” and had no patience for dreamers. That is to say, he had no patience for me.

My grandparents said I was spoiled. Which had nothing to do with the moon, really, but they never missed a chance to say it.

My teacher smiled and told me about astronauts. Which is exactly the sort of person she was. I should have expected her to do something like that. Instead of asking more about traveling to the moon, I demanded to know why she was telling me this. Then I cried and asked if I could live with her and she got that look on her face like when she had to send someone to the principal’s office. She didn’t call on me for the rest of the year. I remember being young, wanting things I couldn’t have. I remember Ms. Haley. And I know she remembers me.

 

 

 

#BlogBattle is a monthly writing prompt for flash fiction/short stories hosted by Rachael Ritchey.

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Prompt: Moon

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Summer’s Song

 

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She ran barefoot in the grass, hair streaming behind her in strands of moonlit ribbons.

Her mother called her inside but she wouldn’t go.

She was searching for fireflies.

 

Last year, right before her father died, he pulled her aside and asked her to listen to the crickets. Summer’s song, he called them.

They had iced tea that night in late July, the ice melting, glass beading up with droplets of water in the humid heat.

The sun cast desperate rays through tree branches, glowing orange fingers reaching out for someone to hold them. But she didn’t. And they nestled in the bushes waiting for morning.

Fireflies danced around their heads, lighting up the porch, and her father beamed with them. Nature’s nightlights, he said.

They sipped sweet tea to a chorus of insects.

She traced a line down the side of her glass, peeking through her hair at her father. Will you be here to listen to the chirping and watch the blinking bugs tomorrow? she wondered.

Her father was dying.

She was old enough to know he would be leaving soon and young enough to ask him not to go.

He had laughed. She remembered that vividly because it startled her and the sweaty, cold glass slipped from her hand.

And it felt so good to cry. For the lost sweet tea that pooled near her toes and for her father who was being forced from the world he loved with a smile on his face.

 

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#Blogbattle is a weekly writing prompt for flash/short stories hosted by Rachael Ritchey – Join the fun every Tuesday

Read more wonderful stories and vote for your favorites here.

Week 67 Prompt: Tea
Genre: Drama

 

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Guides

 

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She’d always welcomed the voices.

Though Greta knew not to let on she was hearing people speak inside her head, she didn’t think it was a bad thing. They were her angels. Guides.

Despite her family’s worry that she would end up alone, Greta was far from it. She had friends, a job, and her books. Admittedly, she was by herself quite a bit of the time but she liked it that way. And, with her guides, she never felt lonely.

She didn’t have a boyfriend, as her brother predicted. They were teenagers when he had teased her about it. It had hurt then but it was a distant memory now, like looking back at an old friend and feeling a remote sense of pity. Greta wasn’t a pretty girl and she didn’t “grow into her looks”, as her mum used to say. But friends often described her as having a “Mona Lisa smile”.

It was the voices that formed her knowing grin. They moved with her in a steady rhythm, galloping alongside her own thoughts.

Until the day her father died.

The voices began growing urgent, aggressive. They became a stampede that trampled her mind.

 

#Blogbattle is a weekly writing prompt for flash/short stories hosted by Rachael Ritchey – Join the fun every Tuesday

Read more wonderful stories and vote for your favorites here.

Week 59 Prompt: Voice
Genre: Drama

 

This is a piece I extended from a 99 word flash I wrote in February.

 

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