Self Care

 

She looked in the mirror at the woman she swore she would never become.

A soft, almost-youthful face with fine lines.

A handful of grey hairs hiding beneath dark blonde strands.

A pudgy middle pushing the waistband of her favorite pair of jeans.

The image irritated her. Angered her.

How had she become this…thing? This wife of a man who created her with perfectly weaved words of manipulation and cruelty then cheated on her for becoming his creation.

Time for some self-care.

She grabbed the prescription bottle, smiling for the first time in months, and dumped her husband’s heart medication.

 

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

November 30, 2017 prompt: Self Care In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes self care.

 

 

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Direction #WritePhoto

 

 

“No, no. That’s east. I’m sure of it.” Angela looked back at the three strangers she’d managed to pick up along her travels.

The tall, ginger-haired boy tilted his head. “I think that’s west.”

“North,” the little girl toddled up next to him. “South!”

Ginger-hair sidestepped the girl, giving Angela a look. “Why did we bring her?”

Skinny girl punched his arm, “Shit, she’s a baby. We couldn’t leave her. What’s wrong with you?”

Ginger-hair rubbed his arm then shrugged, “Kids are sticky and loud.”

“Okay,” Angela took a breath, blowing it out loudly. “Enough. We go that way. With the little girl.”

“Which way?” Skinny girl asked. “You’re flailing your arms around and expecting us to know what you mean. Also, let’s not forget we don’t know where the hell we’re going and no one agrees on…anything, actually. And can we give the girl a name at least?”

“Toward the sunrise,” Angela said.

“Sunset,” Ginger-hair corrected.

“Dammit!” Skinny girl flung her hand at the nearby house, “I’ll say it again. It’s right there. A house. Signs of life. Possible help. No-brainer. And, fine, I’ll give her a name. She’s…Pam.”

Now-Pam yelled, “Pam!” Skinny girl smirked. Ginger-hair did not. Angela opened her mouth to argue and Now-Pam lowered her voice, “no house.”

“It’s right there, squirt,” Skinny girl pointed. “See?”

“See?” Now-Pam poked her stubby finger to the branches seemingly growing out of the roof.

“Huh,” Ginger-hair said. “I don’t remember that tree being there.”

Angela backed away, “It wasn’t.”

“No tree,” Now-Pam said. “Bad house. Run.”

 

 

 

My attempt at #writephoto, a weekly writing prompt for poetry/flash/short stories hosted by Sue Vincent

 

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Rubbing Salt in the Wound #WritePhoto

 

 

“There used to be water here,” he pointed to the cliff. “Up to the standing stones.”

She nudged some loose debris with her foot. “This is cool, isn’t it? And, no, there wasn’t. Water, I mean.”

“How do you know?” He asked.

“I don’t,” she shrugged. “I just figured if it was you saying it, it must not be true.”

“Well, there was water here,” he insisted. “And it had salt in it.”

She laughed, “Salt? Okay, yeah, whatever.”

“Stop kicking that stuff. It was part of the water. Still is.”

“What’s wrong with you that you’ve got to make stuff up all the time?” She glared at him. “Water that had salt inside of it? You’re crazy, you know that?”

“I don’t know why I bother. Let’s go.”

She crouched and studied the debris. “I want to stay here and check this out.”

He grabbed her arm. “Don’t. Touch. That.”

“Why? Will the little, dried-up, old dirt eat me for lunch?” She yanked her arm from his grip and reached out.

“With salt,” he mumbled. The seaweed shot up and snaked around her body, thin tentacles covering her mouth and dragging her under the ground.

 

 

Happy Halloween and Blessed Samhain, my friends. 🎃💀

 

My attempt at #writephoto, a weekly writing prompt for poetry/flash/short stories hosted by Sue Vincent

 

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Selfless #Flash4Storms

 

Night is soft, quiet, speaking in layered moonlight.

Listen.

She whispers through trees, between branches.

Do not be afraid. You are not alone…

Beautiful darkness soothes us even though she knows it is her that we fear.

 

 

Written for the hurricane relief flash fiction challenge over at Lemon Shark. I’ve just raised the first $1. 🙂 See? That was easy. Hope you join in.

#Flash4Storms

#LemonSharkCharity

 

Getting Busy on My First Date

 

His tie was blue. A nice enough color. The geometric design wasn’t all that unpleasant. A bit modern for my taste, but not obnoxious.

I suppose it could have been his shirt, with its burgundy basketweave pattern. But, if I’m honest, the whole thing blew up because of his pink paisley jacket.

I couldn’t tell if he was nice enough for me to look past his fashion faux pas.

When my sister asked how the date with her co-worker went, I shrugged, “I have no idea. His clothes were so loud, I couldn’t hear a word he said.”

 

 

Totally goofing this week with a ridiculous entry for:

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

September 7, 2017 prompt: BusyIn 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a busy character.

 

 

Magic, Fey, a Year and a Day #WritePhoto

 

 

“No peeking!”

I sighed. “I know, Mirra, I wasn’t going to peek.” Although, that’s exactly what I had been trying to do.

She smirked, took a swig of her mead, and skipped away.

I watched them all, gathered to dance, drink, and watch me stick my hand through a hole in the standing stone. It made me absurdly happy and I wondered what the boy on the other side was feeling.

I would know soon enough, when the druids decided it was time for me to look through the Holed Stone.

They wouldn’t ask what I saw and I wasn’t sure if that was because they considered it private or because they already knew. I took a sip of my drink and relaxed at the sweet, honeyed flavor.

I didn’t notice Mirra was by my side until I felt her breath on my neck. She whispered, “It’s time.” The silence around me now was thick. I knew they were waiting, watching. My life was about to change.

Placing my forehead on the rough sandstone, I gazed through the hole.

“Well?” Mirra tucked a lock of hair behind my ear.

“Water,” I smiled. I had seen rain on this sunny, summer’s day. She nodded and kissed me on the cheek. “He did, as well.”

I slipped my hand through the hole and felt warm, calloused fingers find mine and grasp them.

 

 

My #writephoto, a weekly writing prompt for poetry/flash/short stories hosted by Sue Vincent

 

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Breakthrough #WritePhoto

 

 

“Check this out,” he crouched over some green stuff poking through the pavement.

“Okay,” I squinted. “I give up. What is it?”

“No clue.”

“Let’s go. I don’t like this. It’s not right.”

“Wait,” he reached out.

I grabbed his arm, “Don’t touch it! What the hell?”

“I’m just wondering…” He withdrew his hand but didn’t move.

“My mum says curiosity killed the cat.”

He looked up. “What’s a cat?”

“No idea,” I admitted. “Point is, you’re too curious. Could get you killed.”

“It won’t.”

“It could.”

“Hey! There’s something else with this green stuff. It’s like a…” He snapped his gloved fingers. “Damn. What are those things we learned about in The World Before class?”

I rolled my eyes. “Jerical…this stuff. It’s wrong. I’m serious. It’ll do something to you.”

He grinned. “You’re right. It will.” He lifted his mask.

 

 

 

 

My attempt at #writephoto, a weekly writing prompt for poetry/flash/short stories hosted by Sue Vincent

 

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Family Tree #WritePhoto

 

 

He built it, brick by brick.

Carved from boulders in the valley or stones found weathered by time… He stacked them. Each one a testament to his regrets.

He spent his life there, in those mountains, building walls to shut out the world he regretted not being a part of. The one he left when his wife was murdered.

He taught his son the art of isolation, sorrow, and disappointment. And, together, they worked on those walls.

When he died, his son continued the tradition, creating something so spectacular, it rivaled nearby castles.

He held fast to what he had been taught.

But, unlike his father, he planted a seed of hope which grew into a fine tree. Sturdy and beautiful. Clinging to sorrow, growing out of the pile of regrets. It survived where it should not have. Some say it was magic. Others, that it was simply hope.

 

“Do you want to know what I think?”

“What do you think, grandpa?”

“I think that this magic and hope people talk about when they see my tree…I think they are the same thing.”

 

 

 

 

My attempt at #writephoto, a weekly writing prompt for poetry/flash/short stories hosted by Sue Vincent

 

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Dessert for One

 

“There’s nothing like an argument over dessert,” I flung a spoonful of whipped cream onto his cherry pie.

He stabbed a piece, shoved it in his mouth, and pointed the fork at me. “You started it.”

“Lovely. Now we’re twelve?”

He leaned back, arms crossed. “Go to hell.”

“Maybe,” I shrugged. “Maybe I’ll even see you there. But, for me, not today.”

“What’s that supposed to…” he grabbed his throat, glaring at me.

“Don’t worry, love,” I took a bite of my chocolate cake. “The choking won’t last long. Your heart will give out before it becomes too uncomfortable.”

 

 

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

July 20, 2017 prompt: Pie In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that features a pie.

 

Sarah Brentyn Reef 99 Words - sig

 

Between #WritePhoto

 

 

He flies halfway between day and night.

His wings reach out, touch the rooftop of my home.

The silence outside me, the noise inside me…

I hear him.

Tomorrow, he tells me, will be softer. More forgiving. Wait.  

I believe him.

His message quiets my raging mind.

Delivered tenderly, I feel the force behind his words not to go gentle into this good night.

 

Feathered fingertips brush blue sky down into the pinks and purples of evening.

I will live to see him, this paintbrush of the Gods, bring the periwinkle light of sunrise up into sapphire skies.

 

 

 

My #writephoto, a weekly writing prompt for poetry/flash/short stories hosted by Sue Vincent

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I offer this as a beacon of hope for the 99-word challenge at Carrot Ranch this week.

In 99 words (no more, no less) write about a beacon. It can be from a lighthouse or other source. Use the word literally or figuratively and go where the prompt leads you.