The Porch #WritePhoto

 

summerhouse

 

She was about five when she stopped crying. But she still crawled into bed with me. Me. The broken one, the brave one, the older one.

My identity was older sister.

I’d been alive three years longer than she. That’s all I had to offer.

She snuggled with me, her raggedy stuffed rabbit tucked tightly to her chest.

Sometimes, on summer nights, we’d tiptoe to the porch. I’d point to the trees and tell her they were our watchers. They would protect us.

I remember those evenings the most. When the skies were beautiful watercolor paintings of our bruises.

 

 

 

I’ve combined two prompts this week:

#writephoto, a weekly writing prompt for poetry/flash/short stories hosted by Sue Vincent which asks writers to use photos for inspiration (the photo above is this week’s prompt)

 

writephoto-logo

 

and Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch which asks writers to pen a piece in 99 words (this week’s prompt: Watchers).

February 16, 2017 prompt: Watchers In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes a watcher.

 

Sarah Brentyn Reef 99 Words - sig

Puddles

 

Tina’s legs, splattered with droplets of mud, stuck out from under her dress. A white, frilly thing her aunt insisted she wear today.

“What are you doing? Get off the ground!” Her aunt put her lips close to the girl’s ear, “People are staring!” She hissed.

“White is for weddings,” Tina traced patterns in the brown puddle by her hip. She swirled her finger in circles then squinted. “White is for clouds,” she pointed at the puddle. “Look. They bring rainbows to the mucky mud.”

“Get. Up.”

Tina wiped mud on her dress. “White is not for funerals, Auntie.”

 

 

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

 

February 9, 2017 prompt: Rainbows in puddles In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a rainbow in a puddle. Create action or character reflection.

 

Sarah Brentyn Reef 99 Words - sig

 

If I Could Shake the Sky

 

snow-falling-at-night-sig-blue

 

If I could catch sunbeams,

I’d light your darkest days,

warming your heart when the world seems too cold to bear.

 

If I could shake the sky,

I’d sprinkle stars,

covering you with glittering dust, magic clinging to skin and hair.

 

If I could reach the clouds,

I’d twirl their softness,

making cotton candy to sweeten the bitterness of life.

 

 

This is inspired by a tweet Katsyarina wrote about a year ago with the line “if I could shake the sky” in it. That line has stuck with me. Thanks, lovely poetess. This post is for you and all who need a little magic or joy in their lives.

 

banishtheblues

Al Lane has challenged us to post something light, funny, happy, or joyous. Why?

“To help us all get through the dismal dirtsack we lovingly call January, I’ve started a #banishtheblues hashtag. I’d love it if you joined me! Just write, or draw, or photograph…anything to #banishtheblues!”

 

At Home

 

The other 5th graders’ desks were covered with pink and red Valentine’s cards. Hers was empty. At home, her tears were met with laughter and reminiscing of “school days”.

Rumors went round the 7th grade about her and Marcus Paloni. She stood alone. At home, her tears were met with suspicion and annoyance of “gossip girls”.

Peter Morris dumped her three days before prom. It was a prank. At home, her tears were met with wistful sighs and talk of “childhood crushes”.

At home for Christmas.

Her tears were met with anger and accusation. Other people have “real problems”.

 

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

 

December 2, 2016 prompt: Not Allowed In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about something or someone not allowed. Go light, go dark, go where the prompt leads you.

 

Sarah Brentyn Reef 99 Words - sig

 

Leap of Faith

 

She tiptoed around his moods like a drunken ballerina.

 

Her choreographed steps danced in and out of debris. Delicate footfalls amid the shattered remains of their relationship.

She knew when to pirouette so as not to get cut.

Practiced in the art, she executed jumps and leaps knowing exactly where her feet would land—between scattered bits of betrayal and contempt.

Home was a minefield. In those rare performances when her foot slipped, she set off explosions, creating more rubble, and learning new dance moves.

 

Faith worked hard, living each day with the beauty of her intricate steps unnoticed.

 

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

November 18, 2015 prompt: Dance In 99 words (no more, no less) write dance into your story. Twirl your characters round and round or stomp your plot onto the page. Use dance in any way that comes to mind. Be specific or free, tango or disco.

 

Sarah Brentyn Reef 99 Words - sig

 

The Retreat

 

“Why does he do that?”

“Anne, I’m not going over this again,” Lisa sat on the couch next to her son, stroking his hair. “He needs sanctuary—a place to escape.”

“It’s weird,” Anne twirled her hair. “I mean, other people aren’t going to be as understanding as I am. Look at him. He’s just… sitting there staring.”

Lisa stood up, rummaged through the kitchen cabinets, and pulled out some pots. She brought them shoulder level then slammed them together next to Anne’s ear.

“What the hell!

“That is how he feels every day. Would you need a break?”

 

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

November 11, 2015 prompt: Comfort/Refuge – In 99 words (no more, no less) write about a place of comfort that is a refuge. Have fun…or go dark. Play with the idea of comfort and refuge.

 

Sarah Brentyn Reef 99 Words - sig

 

Bitter, Cold

 

I loved him with a brutal intensity.

I often wrapped my arms around my chest as one might do on a winter’s morning when frost has formed where soft dew should be.

The strength of my emotions hurt, and I hugged myself to add pressure, like pressing on a wound to stop the bleeding.

Without warning, that love froze. Cold seeped into my heart and, even in summer, I could never stay warm.

 

The shallow pond, only partly covered in ice, lets me slip into its frigid, watery grave. As I do, I wonder what will happen in spring.

 

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

November 4, 2015 prompt: Frozen – In 99 words (no more, no less) write a frozen story. Is the weather the source of freezing or is a character frozen by emotion or lack of it? It can also be a moment frozen in time. What does it reveal?

 

Sarah Brentyn Reef 99 Words - sig