Weekend Coffee Share, Of PPE and Thriller

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share! It has been a busy week with return to school teacher planning, fear of COVID, and attempts to catch up on sleep. I’m enjoying full-caff today, and listening to Kraughbin in the background. It is quite pleasant. Stop and have a cup of joe!

Teacher planning has been interesting, as we have received training for a lot of new policies in our three days of teacher planning. I have a bad habit of touching or rubbing my eyes a lot, so I’ll either be wearing safety glasses or a face shield from now on.  Students will be coming to school next Thursday, but we have about 50% of our student body taking online distance learning instead, so classes will be smaller.  The plan was for this to go on until 9/14.  I just pray those in power will extend distance learning options if COVID numbers have not dropped by then.  For reference, my state, Florida, has at least 557,000 cases of COVID-19 now.  I have been glad to be in the midst of my co-workers again.  Teachers are a special, understanding bunch of people, and we can be pretty fun at times, too!  I truly pray I don’t see any of my co-workers become sick this Fall.

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I have really slowed down on writing, but I am trying to still blog 1-2 times weekly. This past week, I shared a short tale for Tuesday called The Post Office, about one woman’s struggle with married life. You may view it here: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2020/08/11/the-post-office-box-shorttales-flashfiction/ I’d like for you to read it and share your thoughts!

I am sure I’ve said this before, but I’ve really slowed down with writing this Spring and Summer due to the shoulder injury, but I am thinking it is a long-term thing; I may need publish my next book for two years or so. I am looking to be more physically active. Of course, we’ve all had our share of butt-in-chair and being entertained by technology. But I think this is what I need from now on. I used to say “My body can’t keep up with my brain.” I would sit in my chair for hours, writing and entertaining myself. Then, I’d suffer from lower back pain or repetitive stress type pain in my hand and arm. I was sort of proud of my brain being so far ahead, but I do not want my body to fall apart! If my body responds in pain due to repetitive stress or too much sitting, the pain will affect my mental ability. Therefore, I need to keep my body in good shape.

Being back at work last week, I did not crave movement as much, but the weekends need to be pretty active, and more than my 30 minute mile, no matter how sweaty it can be. So, I am looking at doing this in the upcoming fall, and I could even start practicing now: Thrill the World It is a challenge to learn the Thriller dance and perform in zombie attire (by video) by Oct. 24th. Well, I’m at Step 1, but I think it will be pretty fun!  I have to decide what my Zombie attire will be. 🙂

https://youtu.be/jnoX8cX59LI

zombie-2013270_1280  I’m not so good at make-up, but I’m sure I can rip up some jeans successfully!

One must have some flights of whimsy now and then, must one?  Especially in the midst of a pandemic, COVID anxiety and virus prevention OCD.  I know, you’d probably choose something different for your flight of whimsy.  That’s what makes life interesting!

Have a great weekend and an even better week, as much as possible!

*The opinions I’ve expressed here about ‘those in power’ are solely my own and not those of my employer.

Holiday. #FFfAW

Photo credit (c) Dorothy

Everyone was boarding the boat early, except for these two.  They weren’t discussing anything.  The young man looked at ease, the girl, a little bit nervous.

The young man watching them briefly felt a twinge of envy.  They had each other and were sure to be embarking on a journey that would never be forgotten.  He had no one.  His friend had found the love of his life and was going away on a one-month honeymoon across the ocean.  Yes, this feeling was envy, but also a slight insecurity that his best friend was being stolen away, wouldn’t have as much time for him, and would completely change in his evolution from individual to husband.
“You all aren’t changing your minds, are you?”  he called.

His friend turned and smiled.  “No, no way!  Bailey’s just never been on a long boat trip.  Tell her it’ll be okay.”

With that, the young man walked up and hugged them both, praying they’d get back safely.

*163 words

Visit  Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers  for other responses to this week’s photo prompt or to join the challenge, which ends today.  The story word limit is 100 – 150 words (+ – 25 words).   Thanks for reading!

Do Not Pass. #amwriting #FridayFictioneers

PHOTO PROMPT © Björn Rudberg

The boys were now both eighteen, and they celebrated with a trip to the Canadian Rockies.

“We’ve got to go to Edmund’s Pass!” Roma exclaimed.  “A friend in the forum told me about it.”

Billy rolled his eyes.  The forums.  Still, he had agreed to go.  Until he saw the sign and the overgrown dirt road.

“Come on, Billy!  There’s been a UFO landing there.  Let’s see it for ourselves.”

“By foot?  Hmm.  Forums,”  Billy chuckled, shaking his head.

“You’re only young once,” Roma stated, his eyes lit up.

“Onward!’  Billy raised his arm fearlessly.

Roma beamed and moved forward.

*100 words

*Friday Fictioneers is a weekly photo prompt challenge to write a Flash fiction piece of 100 words or less with beginning, middle, and end.  It is hosted at https://rochellewisoff.com/  Visit this week’s challenge and view the other offerings at  Rochelle Wisoff !

 

Watch RWISA Write. An Author Discovered, Harmony Kent. #RRBC

RWISA TOUR (1)[2337]                            Please join me in welcoming fellow author, Harmony Kent to my blog today!  Harmony is a supportive fellow member of Rave Reviews Book Club and is also a member of RWISA, Rave Writers’ International Society of Authors.    The following is a sample of her writing.

Harmony

Live or Die?

by Harmony Kent

 

Sometimes, you need to accept help. Sometimes, you need to admit that you need it. Sometimes, you need to take the hand that’s offered. You reached out and took my arm. I let you. I took the assistance I needed. I gripped your hand so that you could pull me to my feet. The last thing I needed was for you to slit my wrists. So much blood. All that carnage. My heart ripped right out of my chest.

I did my best.

Though, what kind of an epitaph is that?

Do I want that immortalised on my headstone?

Does that adequately sum up a life?

What about all the rest?

At the end of the day, what’s left to show for all that struggle, all that pain?

Right now, only one thing remains certain, that things can never be the same. That river? Already crossed. That road? Already travelled. That life? Already lived.

No going back. Not ever.

Going forward, though? Now, there’s the question.

For this gal, only one choice remains. Live or die?

Sometimes, you need to accept help. Once bitten, twice shy and all that, though, ya know? Truth be told, I’ve come to the end. Like I said, no going back. The rub is that I can’t go on either. The wind whips my hair into my face and throws cold pellets of rain at me. I shiver and dig deep for the courage. Never did like heights, yet here I stand. To jump or not to jump? That is the question.

The darkness wraps around me and locks the breath in my lungs and my feet in place—leaves me perched here in a daze. The metal burns cold within my death grip. With pulse racing, I edge my left foot forward a couple of centimetres, and then bring the right one up level. Perforce, I have to let go of the steel girders now. I’ve taken a step too far. Sweat breaks free from every pore and soaks this trembling mass of flesh, muscle, and sinew. With a heart this broken, how does it even continue on?

‘Miss? Are you okay? … Miss?’

At the unexpected voice, I twist and startle. A man reaches for me, indistinct in the arc-sodium lights.

‘Miss? Here, take my hand.’

A sudden gust buffets me from behind, and I stumble forward, a scream frozen in my terrified throat. All of a sudden, it hits me, I don’t want to die. Too late, however, as I’m off balance and too close to the edge. Dimly, as I fall, I see that it’s not about living or dying but about having the choice. It seems the wind has finished your job for you. Limp and spent, I plummet to the waiting river below, which sends up cold plumes of spray and waves like open arms welcoming me in and under to die beneath.

Sometimes, you need to admit that you need it. At the first swallow of brackish water, I swallow my pride, and every molecule of this being cries out for help. I should have grabbed his hand. Should have, but could I have? Would I have if given the chance? More ice-cold water pours into my throat and drowns my lungs. All the philosophising ceases as it becomes a fight for life. The cold pierces and stabs like a knife.

Tired and afraid, and no longer quite so numb, I kick, searching for the surface. Already, my limbs have gone stiff. The pressure in my chest has grown unbearable, and I have to take a breath, even though I know it will mean certain death. I just can’t do it. Can’t hold it all in anymore. Bubbles erupt when the life-giving air breaks free of my now open lips.

They show me the way when they float up, up, and up.

For a second, I hesitate. Do I go for it or not? Here is my chance for total surrender. To not have to fight any further. Do I have the energy? The will? At the end of the day, what’s left to show for all that struggle, all that pain?

I did my best, but I don’t want that on my epitaph.

My legs kick and arms stroke, pushing through the murk and trying for air. With this exhaustion and cold, I doubt I’ll get there. By now, the bubbles have long gone, but I’ve come near enough to discern the orange city glow. Not far now. One more kick. One more. That’s it. Just one more.

Sometimes, you need to take the hand that’s offered. I come to, afloat on my back, and the icy waves provide my waterbed. Way up high, atop the bridge, come the blues-and-twos, as the emergency services rush to the scene of my demise. Don’t they realise that I’ve fallen too far from reach? Beyond any assistance or redemption.

It seems as if hours pass me by while I drift in and out and upon. This time, a deafening roar causes me to rouse. A shadow flies through the sky, trailing a bright beam. The search is on. These arctic temperatures have other ideas—so much so that I’ve begun to feel warm. A bad sign. Sleepy too.

Impossibly white light hits me and burns my eyes. I raise a hand to cover them and, immediately, lose my buoyancy and sink back into the dark. The search light now glows dimly above the water. Too tired, too cold, too done to even try and fight, I let the river have its way.

The universe has other ideas, it seems, and once again, I lose the choice. Strong hands grip my armpits and haul me upward. To the artificially lit night and the cold and the air and the despair. Oh, love, what did you do to me? So much blood. All that carnage. All those lies and abuse. What’s the use?

 

You reached out and took my arm. It all unfolded in a blur and strobe-like snapshots—the winch into the helicopter, the medi-flight, and them getting me here. Trouble is, I think they left my heart there.

A nurse bustles into the private room and pulls apart the drapes. ‘Time to let in some light,’ she says. Oh, how wrong could she be? The last thing I want to do is see. Right now, only one thing remains certain, that things can never be the same. I want to stay in the dark; hide from my shame.

‘You have a visitor.’ Her voice sounds far too bubbly. It hurts. ‘The police officer who tried to help on the bridge.’ A shadow crosses her face. Then she gets busy tidying the bedding and then me. ‘I’ll just go and show him in.’ Once again, I don’t get a choice. No time to find my voice.

The door opens slowly, and I lay with baited breath. A young man eases in, dark hair and chocolate eyes, with a smile that feels like the most glorious sunrise. ‘May I?’

His question gives me pause. Never before did anyone ask my permission. Dumbstruck, I give a mere nod. My visitor edges to the bed and takes a seat on the hard plastic chair that the nurse placed there. We sit in silence for a while, and then his eyes find my scars. So many. Clouds snuff out that beautiful dawn and darken his face.

Now, he’ll make his excuses and take his leave. He’s done his bit. But no. Instead, he takes my hand. Looks into my eyes. Somewhere from the edges, I register that he doesn’t have on his uniform. ‘It’s okay,’ he tells me, fingers rubbing mine. ‘You’re safe now. We’ll make this right.’

Uninvited, a sob brings the elephant right into the room. ‘No one can,’ I croak.

‘It’s okay. He won’t hurt you again.’

‘You know who I am?’

He nods, gives my hand a squeeze. ‘We know everything.’

All I want to do is shrivel up and crawl within.

With both hands, he reaches out and takes my arms. I let him. He seems an angel in human form, and I feel safe within his embrace. Into my hair, he whispers, ‘It’s okay. I’ve got you. I got you now.’

Can I take the leap of faith?

Now, there’s the question.

Live or die?

Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH RWISAWRITE Showcase Tour today!  We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, to please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.  WE ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs.  Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

 

Harmony Kent  RWISA Author Page

 

 

In the Deep, #writephoto

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“This sure is some prime real estate, Jack,” Erin whispered.  There was an eerie, yet reverent awe to her voice.

“We’re as far away from the front lines as we could be.  It’s safe here.” Jack hoped this was true.  The fighting had gotten dangerously close to their home, and he didn’t want the boys to live that way.

“How long?”  Erin asked.

Jack noticed a note of worry in her voice.  “I’m sorry, Erin.”

“No, don’t be, Jack.  This place is beautiful.  It is full of imagination.  It’s just, the lack of sunlight is going to get to me in a little while, maybe a few weeks.  On the plus side, it is cool down here.  Much better than it was up top.  I just don’t know how long I can stand it.  I’ll start getting weird dreams, and after a while, I won’t be able to sleep.”

“How do you know, Erin?”

“Before the fighting started, my dad was Air Force, stationed in Alaska.  We lived there with him.  You know, they have those months with no sunlight.  It got me, bad.   Then, when I was fifteen, he went to serve in the war.  So Mom and I came back here.  He never came home.”

Jack sat down and laid out their provisions, which included a soft cushion for each of them to sleep on.  Of course, they wouldn’t be staying here forever.  Erin sat beside him.

“How did it come to this?”  Erin asked.

Jack put his arm around her.  “I’m sorry, Erin.  We’ll get out of here as soon as we can.  Think of it as a camping adventure.  I know we should have evacuated when they first gave the warning.   Now our home is in the middle of a battlefield.  It’s like the Civil War or World War II out there.  I never thought we’d go back to such primitive ways.”

“At least I didn’t lose you to the war,” Erin said, as she took their youngest, Jeremiah, by the hand and changed his shirt.  He needed the longer sleeves.

“No, Erin, and you never will.  As long as you and the boys can remember what I taught you about survival, we’ll never have to be a part of their evil ways.”

Erin rested her head on his shoulder while Jeremiah ran to catch up with Stephen, who was exploring another tunnel.

“I’m glad we’re so much more civilized.  Even if it means living like this,”  Erin said.  She’d be okay, she decided right then and there.  This was a matter of survival.  Her fear was dissipating.  She’d rise to the occasion and hold it together for her family.  It would be alright.

~The End~

The #writephoto challenge prompt can be found at https://scvincent.com/2017/03/16/thursday-photo-prompt-deep-writephoto/

If you’d like to join the challenge, follow these instructions:

Don’t forget to use the #writephoto hashtag in your title so your posts can be found.  You can find all last week’s entries in the round-up. Please visit and read the stories and poems and explore the sites of their writers.

I will feature as many entries as I can on the blog during the week, but given the volume of contributions we are getting every week, that will not be all of them! All posts will be included in a round up on Thursday 23rd March.

Feel free to use #writephoto logo or include the prompt photo in your post if you wish or you can replace it with one of your own to illustrate your work.