Wow, what a week (month, year) we’ve been having. I’ve fallen behind on reading and replying to comments from last week, but I’ll try to catch up when I can. In the meantime, here’s this week’s story, based on David Stewart‘s photo prompt. Your comments are very welcome (even when it makes a while to respond).
They appeared every night, as the sun shuffled out of sight and the crickets took up their own song. I crouched and listened as a silent tune filled the park for a few moments before they faded from sight in the darkness.
Then, when I was old enough, I took the job as park custodian. I rigged lights in the bandstand so that the darkness couldn’t hide them, and I waited a final time. As dusk fell, my orchestra shimmered onto the stage. I listened, entranced again by their unheard song, and as darkness fell, I reached for the switch.
It’s Wednesday and recent photos make me suspect that Rochelle is as much over the winter as I am. This week’s greenery comes from Rachel Bjerke.
My story is an attempt to veer back into ‘proper’ fiction and as always I’d love to hear what you think. I am stuck for a title, so suggestions are welcome on that front too. After writing it, I was researching green for something that might work as a title when I came across this bit of slang. I suggest you read the story before clicking on that link, then you can decide whether it changes your reading of the story or not – it kind of did for me!
Happy Spring (on Friday, apparently)!
Exhausted, she leant against the stone fountain. The surface, polished lifetimes ago, was made smoother still by a slime of moss that covered everything. She knew it was staining her nightdress and skin with the evidence of her flight.
She’d once loved green – the colour of life and vitality, of new beginnings – a longed-for sight after bracing white winters washed away colour and hope.
But today, it was another wall in her prison. She had fled the house, only to find the forest never-ending, and this abandoned oasis further evidence that she was still within his territory. And his grasp.
Normal service resumes, folks. I am home, I am sane, and I am writing fiction with a dark side (SPOILER ALERT: someone even dies)! I hope you enjoy this story, and I welcome your critique and your interpretations, whether good or bad.
This glorious photo, courtesy of Sandra Crook, goes to show just how much the bitterness of winter can also be its beauty. Toronto is finally warm (by which I mean positive temperatures. +2 feels balmy after a few months of -20somethings) and sunny, the snow is melting and we can walk down the street without having our faces ripped off by the wind. I am fortunate not to suffer from anything as extreme as SAD, but the Winter definitely takes its toll on my mood, and I can’t wait for Spring to get its boots on and come out to play.
Beyond His Shadow
When the dust settled, everything was almost as it had always been. Life revolved around the gaping hole where the old man used to stand as though a real dust, an embodiment of his presence, coated everything. I went shopping and felt his hand on my arm; I heard his voice on the train, on the phone, in my dreams; I lay awake in bed, waiting for his hand on the doorknob.
My father’s grave weathered seasons of frost and rain, tenacious weeds and beating sun. And I weathered grief and relief by turns, learning to live beyond his shadow.
Something very much out of the blue for me today, thanks to Erin Leary’s curious photo. I normally keep my personal life out of my writing, but we’re deep in the throes of a difficult decision and this story (story? It’s more of a rant!) burst forth from that. I’ve tweaked it into fiction, so if you know me, don’t read too deeply into it as though it’s pure fact, but still, I can’t deny the grain of truth inside the pearl of fiction.
Your feedback is always welcome.
The thing about life is, it thrives. Everywhere. In the deepest depths of the ocean, without light or air, 4,000 species of foraminifera make their home. Put damp shit in a dark cupboard, and bingo! Mushrooms in spring. Ice floes, deserts, oceans … name a place; something calls it home.
So I sit here, with spreadsheets and binders, pros and cons, glossy brochures and coffee-stained print-outs, all weighing in on the dilemma of where to live, and I think “pretend you’re a foraminifera. Wherever you go, you can thrive”, but really, I have a suspicion I’m more like a mushroom.