#ThursThreads Week 384 : I See She Didn’t Overstate The Issue

I have a job that’s a 10 minute walk from our house. It’s perfect. No traffic to fight. No car to keep running. I get up, get dressed, put on my walking shoes, and walk to work. At night, I call her when I’m ready to walk home, so she will know I’m on the way.

Halloween is not a holiday. No one I know has that day off. Everyone goes to work. Schools have normal hours. It’s another day. Like any other day, I walked to work. At quitting time, I called her like I always did.

“I have to warn you, dear. There’s been a pumpkin massacre in the neighborhood. Be careful on your walk.”

I changed to my walking shoes, and tried to imagine a pumpkin massacre, “Teenagers, kids. Bashing Jack-o-lanterns. Bits of pumpkin here and there. Some on the sidewalk.” A normal thing for Halloween. Who hasn’t seen pumpkin bits in the road on that night?

I started home. After a couple of minutes, I smelled pumpkin. “Someone’s cooking?” But it didn’t smell like cooking. Five minutes in to my walk, I turned a corner, into our neighborhood. The sidewalk was orange. So was the road. And the curb had vanished. It was all under an ocean of pumpkin. Not smashed. Pureed.

“Well. I see she didn’t overstate the issue.” I had to walk home through the goo. “I’ll have to ask what happened when I get home.”

241 Words
@mysoulstears


It’s Week 384 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Given it’s October, I decided to try something Halloween. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who show up weekly.

Advertisements

#EVERyTuesdayWordplay (Week 12): Hands

Domino smiled as she watched him at his computer. She tapped her sister on the shoulder, “Watch. Watch him. See?”

“What? He’s at his computer. What is there to see?”

“You don’t see it, do you?” Domino couldn’t believe Shelly couldn’t see something so obvious. “His hands. Watch his hands.”

Shelly watched, briefly, then shook her head, “Boring. Boring, boring, boring.”

“Shelly! No. How can you not see it?”

“See what?”

Domino practically drug her sister to the kitchen, “See what? His hands, silly!”

“So, he has hands! So what! We all have hands!”

“Not like his, we don’t!” Domino looked through the doorway, back toward the computer, where he sat, typing away. “Not at all like his.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Shelly held up her own hands, “He’s got 10 fingers, two palms, and wrists, just like we do.”

Domino shook her head, “Yes, he has the same physical number of fingers, and palms. Yes, they are, mechanically, hands.” She waved her own hands, “Just like ours. But.”

“What. Tell me already.”

“His hands are who he is.”

The look on Shelly’s face said, “You are out of your mind.”

“No. Shelly. It’s true.” Domino let herself smile. She’d never known anyone whose hands were the doorways to his soul, to his heart. “Think about it. What does he do with his hands? What’s he doing right now.”

“Banging on his keyboard.”

“He’s writing.” Domino corrected her. “He’s writing. He’s not banging. He’s expressing himself. Through his hands.”

“So?” Shelly still had that “You’re out of your mind” look.

“Have you seen him wash the dishes?” The way his hands tried to avoid the yucky parts of the dishes, the things floating in the sink, the sharp edges everywhere. “Or folding the laundry?” How his hands were careful not to hurt the fabric, especially on delicate things. How they reacted to different textures, how they touched her clothing strikingly differently than his own. “How he holds them when he talks?”

Shelly sighed. “His hands show who he is? How he feels?”

“Yes! When he taps his fingers to the sound of the music. When his hands can’t stop moving during the scary parts, or the big fights, in a movie, or on TV. When his hands hold each other, when he’s nervous, or scared.”

Domino watched her sister think, watched as Shelly remembered all the things she’d watched him do. Driving, mowing the lawn, painting the walls, holding her niece, scratching the cat’s ears. It was like watching the sun rise at dawn, where the light starts to peek over the horizon, and the colors of everything start coming on.

“Oh, my.” Shelly looked toward him on his computer. “I never noticed.” She almost laughed, “I never noticed.”

Domino had, “It’s true. His hands show everything he is. Everything he feels.”

Shelly smiled, “How come I keep hearing that song, he’s a magic man, he’s got magic hands.”

“He does, Shelly. He really does.”

495 Words
@mysoulstears


Saw the word prompt of “Hands” for Ever Addams weekly #EVERyTuesdayWordplay Flash Fiction prompt, and I knew exactly what to write. The how required me to try something different. Go read the other stories for prompt #12.

Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2019/10/15 (Week 128)

Tundar waved his hands at the pile of rocks, “In a thousand years, this will drive them bonkers!”

I often wondered about Tundar, and I certainly did then. He’d gone to a lot of trouble to make a rock wall. He’d found hundreds of flat rocks, and stacked them, to make the wall. Walls were sensible enough. I could see him building one.

But this wall was in the middle of nowhere. It was a three day hike to reach it. And Tundar had hauled all those rocks that distance. To build a wall that had no purpose.

He laughed, “I think the triangle arrangment sitting on top of the doorway, with the two big balls, is the perfect touch.”

He wasn’t wrong. They did make the wall easier to look at. They gave it an air of purpose.

“I bet they’ll think it’s some kind of religious symbol. Or maybe a calendar, or some strange way to track the rise and fall of the moon, or the seasons.”

I had to interrupt him, “What? What are you talking about?”

“I bet, in a thousand or so years, they’ll find this, and they’ll wonder what it is, what it means, who made it, why they put it here.” Tundar laughed. “I can see them now, making up explanations. It will be hilarious!”

“Tundar, in a thousand years, you’ll have been dead for over 900 of them.”

“Of course. That’s what makes this so fun.”

“A joke you won’t see the end of, but this excites you?”

He laughed louder, “Oh! What if they think it was made by aliens! Or maybe we were trying to talk to our gods, or something!” He laughed so hard, he fell over. Then, he explained to me. “Sandar. You know those rocks we found, that stand on end. The big rocks, arranged in rows, like fence posts?”

I nodded. Everyone knew the legend of those rocks.

“What if whoever set them up did it, knowing someone would come along, eventually, long after they were dead, and gone, and turned back into dirt from whence we all came, and that someone would try to explain why the ancients made fence posts out of stupidly big rocks that took a dozen men to move.”

He grinned.

“The fence post rocks are a practical joke?”

He nodded, “Might as well be. We won’t ever figure out what they’re for, and the people that made them are long dead. Who knows. Maybe they were actually laundry line posts, and there used to be ropes between them to hang clothes on.”

“Well,” I had to nod too, “Maybe. That makes as much sense as anything else.”

“So, why not, long after we’re dead, and returned to dirt, let whoever finds this come up with all kinds of stupid ideas for why we did it.”

That’s when I realized what he was saying. “Hmm. Perhaps we can do a lot more things like this.”

“I know! Right! We could drive people nuts for centuries!” He waved at the rocks again. “Maybe. Maybe we can talk about this with the king, and see if he has any ideas. Or at least wants in on the joke.”

“Tundar. Do you have another idea already?”

“Yes. Yes I do. We can make huge drawings in the dirt. Where no one lives, They’d last for ever.”

I started laughing. “A giant spider, perhaps.”

“And so many others.”

I was laughing fully at that point, “I wonder what they’d call them.”

“Who knows?” He grinned. “Who cares?” He winked at me, “It will drive them nuts for centuries.

602 Words
@mysoulstears


It’s week 128 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. I’m on the iPad Mini, which is ancient, so links are a headache, and I’ll stop at just the one link. Go there, and read the stories for week 128, including Miranda’s story. The stories are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed.

#MenageMonday 2×28 : It’s Hell, Boy”

“Everybody thinks Heaven is all good, with nothing bad in it.” The old man shook his head. “Look around, boy. Look around.”

It was stunning, beautiful beyond words. Grasses painted the valley green. A rock path lead into it. “Took years for me to get those right.” Every rock on that path was placed to make it look like years of water, and wind, and rain had placed the rocks.

“Pure heaven, ain’t it?” He looked up at the crystal blue sky, with cotton candy white clouds all through it. “Pure heaven.”

In the center of the valley was a spiral of large rocks. “The pattern the whirlpool makes as it drowns everything when the rain comes.”

“I don’t understand.”

The old man held up his hand, and touched the breeze. “You will.” He started walking up the hillside, out of the valley. I followed. “Heaven and hell are locked, boy. They’re the same. Like night and day, or hot and cold. You can’t have one without the other.”

At the top of the hillside, we stopped. The rain started. “You’ll understand soon enough.”

It started like a spring shower, but it grew, until it became a monster. Water raced downhill, collected in the trails leading to the valley, and became an flood that filled the valley, and washed everything, birds, mice, foxes, flowers, everything, into a whirlpool, right where the rock spiral was.

“Like I said, boy. It’s heaven. And it’s hell. Always remember that.”

246 Words
@mysoulstears (currently deactivated).


It’s week 2×28 of Cara Michaels‘s #MenageMonday flash fiction challenge. You can read about #MenageMonday here. Please, go read all the short tales from this week. The tales are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed.

Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2019/02/03

Axel had been secretive for months as he had a small home built out on his plot of land. He’d bought a couple of acres in the middle of nowhere. “I got a great deal on it. It’s isolated. Just a dirt road leading to it. Nothing for miles and miles.” He told us he was going to build a small home on it. One of those tiny houses, like on TV. But he wanted to make his different. “They’re all the same!”

We spent weeks betting he was having a container dropped on that property, and putting plywood inside. “See? This is different!” We all gave him a hard time about it. Ribbed him endlessly. “Can’t wait to see if it says, TESCO on the side, or EXXON.”

He took it all with humor, even posted a picture of a trash dumpster with a door on it, and a tin pipe coming out the top, with smoke coming out of that, “My dream home?”

I thought for sure he’d park an old bus chassis on that place, and convert it to a tiny kitchen, bedroom, and bath.

We asked him, “Were you getting water? How you getting power? Any plumbing at all?”

“Getting the biggest septic tank they make. And a deep well, a couple hundred feet. Gonna have plenty of water.” He put up a picture of the tank. Kinda ugly, but we went with it. He was showing off.

“Getting solar panels. Making a solar farm for the place.” He had an entire array of the things. Looked like it would power an entire building. And it had an enormous battery. “I got the battery from Tesla! Same kind they use in Australia! I ain’t ever running out of power! Ha!”

We all laughed when he rented a truck on weekends, and bought every brick they had at the Home Depot. Said he was putting in a brick driveway, and sidewalks. Making his own. Spending his weekends in a tent at his place, getting ready.

We all about died when he brought in a picture of the foundation. A square, almost. Rounded corners. No, I mean rounded. Not smoothed off, but still corners. I mean, like someone dropped a big ass circle on the slap, and mowed the corner off. “So. You’re getting a well rounded house. Right?” I mean, what the heck do you put on a slab with no corners?

We were all stunned when he brought in pictures of the steel frame. Yes. Steel. No wood. No 2×4 construction. It was steel. Bright, shiny beams. Every few feet. We looked at the beams, and realized, “Whatever he’s building, it’s gonna be just as tall as it is wide.” The beams echoed the shape of the slab, and were the same dimensions as the slab. “Dude, you could make a concrete square out of that.”

“I know.” All he did was grin. “Y’all don’t have a clue. I’m building the little home I want to build. My getaway place. Where I can go to escape reality.”

At last, the day came. He came in one Friday at work, “You’re invited to the housewarming. It’s ready!” Gave out the address and everything. No one knew how to even get there. I had to look it up on maps on the internet. Place really was in the middle of nowhere, like half an hour from anything, even a trash pickup site, or another house.

I pulled up this afternoon, to visit him at his new place. And I’m telling you. I’ve never seen anything like this. Nope. He wasn’t kidding when he said this was going to be different. I sat in the car, staring for like, what, 20 minutes, before I could get out.

It was a six sided dice. Yep. Like the kind you throw in a Monopoly game. Had a brick sidewalk that led right up to the bottom of the two circles on the front. I got out, walked around the place. Yep. Windows shaped like the circles for the numbers. Two on the front. One on the left.

Axel came out to greet me, “Well. What do you think?”

What else was there to say, “It’s certainly different.”

“Two stories. Square. Just like the real thing, on a million times bigger.” He grinned. Bedroom up top, bath and kitchen on the bottom.”

He gave me the grand tour. It was a house. No, seriously. A house. With three skylights in the ceiling of the bedroom. And a circular door.

“Dude. Looks just like…”

“Yep. Just like I wanted.” He was so proud of his house, “I didn’t want one that looked like every other house in the world. I wanted something different. Something me. Something I can be proud of.”

I gotta admit. When someone asks where he lives, saying, “I live in the Dice house,” is a unique answer. And once you’ve seen it, you know exactly where the Dice house is. There’s really only one of those.

Gotta hand it to Axel. No one saw that house coming. Not one of use guessed what it looked like. A 6 sided dice. Of all things. Take a picture of that thing, and show it to your friends. They’d think it’s a funny looking dice. And try to explain to them it’s a tiny house. Go ahead. Explain that. No one ever believes it.

900 Words (So, I went over…)
@mysoulstears


It’s week 92 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. The picture this week forced me to begin the years long process of putting a story into words, and bringing a new story to life. You can read about Miranda’s small fiction challenge here. Please, go read Miranda’s short tale this week, and any others that showed up. The tales are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed.

#NYR2019 : Welcome To The New Arctic

When this snow storm started, I could look outside. It was a whiteout. The worst I’d ever seen.

Thing is, it’s never stopped. On the second day I got trapped inside. I opened the front door, and saw a wall of snow. I tried to push through it, but it was useless. It was seven or more feet deep, everywhere. And it was still snowing. The windows showed nothing but snow, packed in around the house, on all sides.

At that point, at least the electricity still worked. I had heat. “Man, this is one hell of a snow storm. I’m gonna have lots of stories to tell people on the networks. Those down in Australia, where it’s like bathing in lava right now, are going to never believe this.”

One of the first things I lost was time. There is no sun. No daylight. I don’t know how many days I’ve been here. I don’t know how long I sleep, how long I’m awake. I remember the news, “The snow storm continues. It’s now the worst in recorded history, by far.” They estimated forty feet, and it was still snowing.

I knew things were bad when I saw icicles hanging from the Living Room window. I’d never seen icicles inside a house before. Now, half the living room is packed with ice, where the windows and wall couldn’t keep it out.

At least I can get some light, and I’ve been able to write in this journal. People used to think I was silly, because I had six packs of batteries, forty batteries to a pack. At least I get a tiny bit of light. I’m betting most people don’t. I wonder too, how many people have already frozen. “Must be a lot. But they won’t stink. Be like frozen food. They won’t rot.”

Back when this started, I went to the attic, to see if I could see anything. The attic fan on the roof? It was packed with snow. The snow was deeper than my house was tall. “That can’t be a good thing.”

The news went out with the power. I can run my phone, but it’s useless. No one to call. No internet. No TV. No radio. Nothing.

Then there was the science show, out of Canada in those first couple days, when we still had power. They said it was the end of the world we all knew. Had some scientist no one ever heard of on the program, talking about how the north pole was shifting, right before our eyes. All because we’d weakened the air currents by warming the air with carbon from oil, and coal.

They had a map with the north pole over the Ontario and Manitoba province line. About sixty miles from the US and Canada border. “This is not magnetic north, or geological north. But, it’s where the climate patterns are shifting.”

I have no idea if it’s still snowing or not. I don’t think anyone knows. If it is, I figure it’s a good hundred feet deep now. Probably deeper. The last time I checked the front door, the snow outside had turned to solid ice. Yeah. There’s a sheet of ice outside my house that’s at least 7 feet thick. At least.

I’m not going to make it. I know that. I’m living on melted ice I chip from the door each day, stale hot dog buns, and jelly beans. I already ate everything else. The attic beams are visibly sagging. I figure, sooner or later, my house is going to get mushed by the weight of it all. And I wonder, will I be alive to experience that, or will I have frozen into a human Popsicle by then. Or will I starve to death when I run out of food. I’m betting on the last one. It’s not like Amazon and Walmart deliver in this kind of weather, you know.

And I wish I could tell all my Christian friends what hell really is. It’s not fire, and smoke, and brimstone, and pitchforks. That would be nice, really. Hell is when you freeze your ya-ya off forever, and wish you could die, and get it over with.

I sure hope it’s warm in the after life. ‘Cause I’m friggin’ tired of the cold.

718 Words
@mysoulstears

Click here to return to the blog hop.

 

#MenageMonday 2×15 : The

In two hours, it would be time to go to work. Hank stared at his watch. “I like my watch.” It was larger than a wristwatch, and it attached to his belt with a well crafted chain. “A pocket watch. Not at all what anyone would expect.”

Carefully, he placed the watch in his pocket, and looked at his computer once more. “Two hours of freedom. Two hours to be me. And then. Everything becomes the same, the same colors, the same rules, the same words.” He hated work, where everyone behaved identically, no matter what. “We all dress the same, always shave, always keep our hair cut just right, wear the same suits, the same ties, the same shoes and socks.”

It was one of those mornings where he was desperate for anything different, anything that wasn’t the same, that wasn’t old, and hadn’t been done a billion times. He brought up the video streaming service, and searched for random names, and random items. “Jose Benedict”. “Concept cars 2019”. “Hunting a new music video”. Nothing felt right in the results. Everything felt the same. “Less than two hours now.”

Out of desperation, he got more detailed in his search efforts, “i am hunting for pearls music videos.” He wondered if that was too specific, as the results showed up. It wasn’t. “There. Something new!” A new music video, he’d never heard. “Finally! A fresh start with something different!” he clicked play, and watched something he’d never seen before.

249 Words
@mysoulstears


It’s week 2×15 of Cara Michaels‘s #MenageMonday flash fiction challenge. You can read about #MenageMonday here. Please, go read all the short tales from this week. The tales are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed. And many of them are amazing.