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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Other People's Hobbies

That morning, before she even opened her eyes, Colleen understood that the crack had widened, lengthened, that it was encroaching upon the sky-blue surface, about to split the whole pane asunder and leave it in irreparable pieces.

She opened the front door with care, watching the stained-glass, and knew it was only a question of time. She wanted to scream. She wanted to call her father to come fix it. She wanted to crab about her husband never getting around to anything. Most of all, she wanted it back the way it was, the way it had been: whole and perfect and useful.

She thought about searching for replacement panels or carpenters online. How much would it cost, how long would it take? Did anyone make stained glass anymore? At the first rain or cold snap, it would become an emergency, something to be taken care of immediately, all else placed on the back burner until this one all-consuming task was completed.

As she shut the door again, Colleen looked across the lawn to the patch of vegetable garden they had imagined. Had there been tomatoes, it would have been time to go water them.

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Writing Process

Spread manure. Weed.

This weekend,   are asking for us to sum up our own writing process with just three little words.

Pleased to note this entry took silver in the Seventy-Sixth Trifextra challenge, the podium for which is found here.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Habit Is A Hard Thing To Break

At the back of her neck, right at the top of the cervical vertebrae, thoughts gather. Some quietly exchange barbed insults; others remain poised and still, building up steam. A gut reaction bursts in – sent by the whiff of a closed and musty classroom, the glimpse of a lock of hair that looked, but wasn't, familiar – then settles into a morose and vicious circle.
Still the thoughts gather, though the gathering becomes louder, more raucous, less contained. Words bounce off each other, reverberate across the ear canal, down the windpipe, soundless.
The head gets crowded. A fond memory is elbowed by a repressed insult, a fanciful hope is briefly entertained by the very beginning of a cunningly-woven lie. Thoughts take sides and turn more boisterous, less self-conscious. Maybe it is the memory of a slight taken too well and now regretted.
Soon there is a bubbling, a jostling, and a mean streak pops up to nudge the roiling thoughts over the edge, and they take off, racing in mad swaths across the trajectories of rogue synapses and déjà-vues. Wishes of youth fly past like the seconds on a ticking bomb, and turn, one after the other, into beggarly pleas. They leave streaks of yellow and green across the back of her eyes, making her want to dip her head into the rapids of an ice cold river. 

She rubs her temples with the tips of her fingers and wonders what would happen if she 

(And yes, it did end there.)

Friday, July 5, 2013

What Forever Means

Every once in a while she feels herself blooming. As unexpected as a mid-summer’s cloudburst, the efflorescence always takes her by surprise. Then she remembers. Love was the sun rising beyond his shoulders.     

 33 of my own words, for 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Upward Mobility

Their second home was a large, crude affair with an unkempt, overgrown garden. Convinced all it needed was a fresh coat of paint and tasteful decor, she immersed herself in the study of feng shui. He took the brand-new chainsaw to the chestnut trees first, then to the tangle of bushes, where he unearthed a new objet d’art almost daily. He lined them up along the walkway - Grumpy next to Mother Goose following a small Venus de Milo. When he was down to shrubs and perennials, she joined him with the rose shears, so they were together, working side by side, when the Spanish tiling was uncovered near the hidden street entrance.
“Mumps,” he said at first, then laughing, cried: “The Mumpses!”
She smiled quickly and cut back more of the ivy, scraping moss from the cement.
“Mumpsimus,” she said. “Must be Latin.”
“Latin, Shmatin,” he said. “They would have given this a pompous-sounding name to bring in the rich patrons. It must have been some sort of treatment or recovery center back in the day, probably very cutting edge. ‘Little Switzerland’ I bet they called it downtown.”
“More like ‘Mumps ‘R Us,” she said. He didn’t laugh. He had left the conversation already and was hacking away at a dogwood.
She turned back to look at the house, expecting to see a faded wooden sign swinging over the front door.
“This house doesn’t have a porch,” she said.
“It doesn’t?” Her husband turned to look with her. “I could have sworn it did when we bought it.” He picked up the chainsaw and examined the blade. “Brand new,” he said, “and the teeth are wearing down already!”

It's community-judged voting at   this week, and the word is CRUDE 3: marked by the primitive, gross, or elemental or by uncultivated simplicity or vulgarity
Also, props to Word A Day for mumpsimus.

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