“Patterns in our Ways.” #amwriting #shortreads

aerial shot of buildings
Photo by Benjamin Suter on Pexels.com

What do your behaviors say about you?  Who really cares?  Someone does.  Humans are inclined toward making patterns, setting boundaries to their land to say what is theirs.  Other humans want no less than what you have.  These imaginary boundaries sometimes can be seen from outer space.  They make the place look ridiculous and make humans quite predictable.

“Merv, you’re being pretty ominous.  I really don’t think you want to share thi…”

“Stop second guessing me, Philbert.  You always do that; you’re just as predictable as a human, just like that one in the cage over there.”

“Sorry specimen, he.  Definitely needs a mate.  Of course, he was always alone on Earth.  Showed up at work at 7:35 after stopping by Smoothie Champ.  Home at 5:30 after shopping for dinner and his next day’s lunch.  What a boring fellow.  No wonder he’s sweating back there.  Something new has happened in his life!”

“Philbert, focus.  We need a second specimen.  How about that one that stops in the bodega every Weds. morning and heads to the bookstore every Thurs. night.  I’ve been watching for four weeks; it seems pretty reliable.  We should swoop in during our current 24 hour period.  I like these patterns.  It’s a good compliment to that turtle of a man back there.”

“It’s worth a try.  You’ve done well, Merv.  I think this will get you promoted!”

A smile cracked a million crevices in Merv’s face.  It had never looked as beautiful to Philbert.  He closed his eyes to memorize the patterns in the cracks.  Certainly Merv would not let something like a smile repeat itself too often.

Posted in response to the daily prompt at https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/05/18/rdp-saturday-patterns/

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April. #RDP #shortreads

(C) by 2019 Pamela Schloesser Canepa

The wind was howling and we needed to take a break from our cliff hike.  Mike spotted a cave ahead in the distance.  “Let’s stop there,” he suggested.

The height was already making my breath come in short spurts; the wind made me feel like I’d be toppled over any minute, but with one foot in front of the other, we made it to the cave.

“Further in, so the wind won’t blow dust at us,” Mike said.

It sounded reasonable to me.  Further into the cave, I saw a huge blanket on the ground.  Mike and I look at each other warily.

In my peripheral vision, I spotted something moving.

“Stop right there!”  Mike wielded a pistol.

“Really, Mike?”  I was disgusted.

“You wouldn’t be so judgmental if it was a bear,” he argued.

The moving object was much too thin to be a bear.  As it came closer, I could see it was human in shape, with its hands up.

“No harm here, it’s just me,” the small form said.  A small form with the voice of a man.  He seemed taller as he slowly came closer.

Unthreatened, Mike put his pistol away.

“Do you live here?”  I asked.

“Oh, no.  I was camping with my girl.  She wondered off; I’ve been looking for her, well, until the wind picked up.”

“Shouldn’t there be a search party?”

“Not anymore.  It’s just me now.  I’ve been at this for a few weeks.  Haven’t gone home since I last saw her.”

“When exactly was that?”

“The end of April,” the man replied.

“Did you know it’s September now?”  I asked.

“September?”  He chuckled.  “That’s not funny.”  His face grew worried and withdrawn.

“When the wind dies down, we’ll take you into town for a coffee and steak, my treat,” Mike offered, probably feeling badly for having been so defensive.

The man just nodded, eyes wide open as saucers. Exiting the cave, he sang softy:

“April came and went. 

Its beauty fleeting, its energy spent. 

But my love is all but gone.

And all I have left is this sad song.”

MIke and I exchanged nervous glances, wondering what we’d gotten ourselves into.  I patted the man on the back.  “That’s Mike, and I’m April,” I said.

 

***Thank you to the Ragtag Community.  Visit them for other takes on the prompt and to join the daily writing inspiration at Ragtag Community on WordPress

**Both the poem and story are written by yours truly.  Thanks for stopping by.  Your comments are also much appreciated!

Short Fiction: “To Walk.” #shortreads

To Walk, by Pamela Schloesser Canepa. (c) 2019

I don’t care if you believe in reincarnation or not. Either way, I was once a seasoned philosopher. People would come from miles and miles to hear me speak.

As public transportation became more popular, I resisted. What use did I have for a horse or chariot? I would walk everywhere I could. The sun would warm my face and the cool breeze would whisper around me, telling of the season. There would be happy children, dogs, or squirrels along my route. I was one with nature.

Now, I live a somewhat different life. Oh, there’s still plenty of time for philosophizing. I put other people at ease. There is obviously purpose in my life, if nothing other than to remind people to lighten up. But I await indoors, always anticipating that one word: Walk. I will lose my composure whenever it is uttered. She seems to understand and doesn’t get after me too much for lounging on her couch or comfy chair. All I long for is to hear those words.

“Want a walk?” She asks, like she doesn’t know the answer. I’ll immediately jump up and down, pawing her legs, begging.

“Do I want a walk? Woman, what do you think? Don’t make me beg!”

The moment we walk out of that door, I am me again, regardless of the leash around my collar.

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**Every day there is a new prompt at Rag Tag Community in the form of one word.  On RDP Saturday, the prompt is “walk.” This was my response.  I hope you have enjoyed it.    Check out other posts or the writing instructions at https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/03/09/rdp-saturday-walk/

Affront

I’d just rounded the corner to my street on the way back from a pleasant evening walk with Sparky, my dog. There it was in front of me.

This evening’s cold front was rapidly advancing. I wouldn’t make it home in time. The approaching air was thick as a blanket, appearing palpable and alien. My dog just looked at me with my gaping mouth, probably wondering if I’d feed him again when we got home.

Yes, if we make it home, I’ll fill your dish again.

I grabbed the leash more firmly and picked up the pace. It seemed like the wind was being knocked out of me.

Not only that, but the wind around me was really kicking up some dust. I started a slow jog then accelerated as much as possible.

Coughing and sputtering, I made it to the door. I fell in, the dog following me. Bravely, I reached into the rolltop desk for my weapon.

That old inhaler does wonders. I peered out the window as the dust demon hurried down the street, a cloud of fog on its heels. Survived, again.

(C) 2019, Pamela Schloesser Canepa

Photo obtained via Pixabay.

Wrapped up in Silence. #Flashfiction #FFfAW

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Akshata Ram.

Mitzy’s over-active imagination was in hyper-drive.  What would happen if she had to scream for help out here?

Would it be amplified, carried to the closest town?  Or would it be absorbed by the snowy tree-tops?  Would it perhaps cause an avalanche?

Mindy had other thoughts.  “It’s so peaceful out here.  Quiet for a playground!  I hope Mom and Dad don’t find out we went so far.”

“It’s too quiet,” Mitzy announced.  She kicked the mound of snow that Mindy had just formed.  Quiet wrapped around them like a false comfort.

“Don’t ruin it all,” Mindy scorned.

Mitzy opened her mouth and let out a piercing scream.  A bird fluttered from a tree.  No other response was made, but Mindy reacted in kind.

“Stop it, stop it!  There’s something wrong with you!”

Quietly, Mitzy answered.  “It was just an experiment.  See, it’s over.  Now I know what would happen.”

*A 149 word story.  A weekly photo prompt is provided at Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers and bloggers are challenged to response with a brief, flash-fiction story.  It’s a lot of fun seeing how drastically different some of the responses can be.  The story word limit is 100 – 150 words (+ – 25 words). Thanks for stopping by and reading my flash piece!

 

Discards or Delights. #FFfAW

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Yarnspinnerr.

“Bagged and tied, Lacy.  You have 3o minutes before your shift is up.  No overtime.”

Lacy rolled her eyes, gathering up the leftovers from the Christmas luncheon.  People in the street would love this food.

“Why do we have to throw it away?”  she asked.

“I don’t have anyone who will eat it at home.  It’ll go bad.  No one was hungry today, I guess.  Ladies on diets, you know.”

“I have a son who will eat it,” she replied.

“I don’t think he can handle all of that,” Mr. Lesperanz said.

“Okay, I’ll take it, and throw it out if he doesn’t eat it all.”

“Just don’t tell anyone. Bag it up like you’re discarding it.  Please.”

At home, Lacy presented the food to Justin.  “Take a few, and we’ll take the rest downtown.  It’s Christmas Eve.”

Justin’s eye got big.  “Where the street people are?”

Lacy smiled.  “They’re hungry.  We’ll give them a good Christmas.”

Justin never forgot that night they brought Christmas to hundreds of others.

~A 169 word story.

Each week, a photo prompt is present at the  FFfAW Wordpress site.  The story word limit is 100 – 150 words (+ – 25 words). Please try and stay within this limit. I’ve been cutting it close lately!  Check out some other stories, add your own, and generally have some fun with Flash fiction!

Stopping by the Highway. #FFfAW. #amwriting

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Jodi McKinney.

The air was crisp and cool, and Mom started the heat.  We had stopped twice already for hot chocolate.  Brent kept complaining about the cold.

“Come back here, Brent,”  I called.

I put my feet up on his legs and he grimaced.  “Oh, they’re not that heavy,” I insisted.  “It’ll warm you up.”  My strained neck leaned on a pillow by the window.  It was a long ride, but soon, we would see snow.

“There are snowflakes on the windshield!” Mom exclaimed.

We gazed out the window.

“I wanna make a snowball!”  Brent shouted.  Small patches had gathered.

We stopped on the shoulder and got out.  Brent collected a handful of mostly dirt and threw it at me.  Mom sighed.

What else could I do but collect my own and throw it back?  He giggled.

“Okay, you’ve had your first snowball fight.  Time to go,” Mom instructed.   “There will be enough for a snowman where we’re going.”  (approx. 163 words)

**Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers provides a weekly prompt for inspiration.  Writers must create a story of 100-150 words, give or take 25.