#FinishThatThought Week 2-34 : Treed

“Excuse me, but what on earth are you doing up that tree at this stupid hour?”

It occurred to me I should make some type of response. Of course, how should a grown man, sitting on a tree branch 30 feet above the ground at three AM respond? I was of the opinion there was no good response to make.

“Um. Reliving my childhood?”

I knew from her facial expression, my wife was not happy with that answer, and I should give her a better answer before she took a saw to the tree trunk.

“I needed to get outside.”

“Like when you walk?”

“I don’t really know, I just…” Sometimes it was hard to explain why I did anything I did. “I had to get outside. I couldn’t stay inside.”

“You couldn’t take a walk? You’ve taken them before. At this time of day.”

That was true. I’d left the house at three AM more than a few times in the past eight weeks. I’d taken walks that lasted two hours or more.

“I didn’t want to scare you any more.”

That was the truth, really. I knew she worried about me walking, especially before dawn. She worried if I’d come back, or if I’d end up dead by the side of the road somewhere, or mugged, and beaten, and left to die.

“I figured if I stayed in the yard, you wouldn’t worry so much.”

What else could I say? I knew it was nuts, sitting in a tree at 3 AM. Normal people didn’t do that. Normal people got up at five or six, then got ready for work. Normal people got in their cars, and drove to work. Normal people sat at their desks, or in their office cubes, and worked all day long.

For eight weeks, I’d watched them. Every morning. I’d watched them drive to work. I’d watched her drive to work. And then I sat at home, feeling like everything was wrong and broken. Like I was. Broken.

When I did things at stupid times, no one could see me. No one could watch. Everyone was asleep, and wouldn’t be thinking, “What’s he doing? Why isn’t he at work?”

“So, you think climbing a tree at this time of day means I won’t worry?”

“I’ll come down.”

She shook her head. “No. Stay up there. Just let me know when you have to climb a tree.”

“I’m OK. You know that. I’m OK.”

“I know.” She waved at me, then went back inside.

I’d have cried, really, I would have. But after eight weeks, I didn’t have any more tears. I knew she’d go back to bed, but she wouldn’t sleep. She’d worry about me. Even though I’d told her I was OK.

I wanted to tell her I would be OK. But in that tree, 30 feet off the ground, at three AM, I knew I couldn’t, because I honestly wasn’t sure I’d ever would be.

490 Words

I wrote this for Week 2-34 (Year 2, week 34) of Alissa Leonard‘s Finish That Thought. Please, go read all the creatively shared stories in this week’s challenge.


#FSF : Flowers

Image @ Shepley Imaging (http://shepleyimaging.com). I hope they don’t mind my borrowing it.

You can find the girls people think are beautiful by watching them. It works just like figuring out which flowers they think are beautiful. It’s the ones they keep looking at. Doesn’t matter if they say things like, “That’s disgusting,” or “She’s a tramp,” or even “She makes me sick.” If their eyes keep looking at her, watching her, she’s beautiful.

Couldn’t resist this one. It’s for Lillie McFerrin‘s flash fiction challenge, Five Sentence Fiction. This week, the prompt is Flowers.

Please, go read all the other entries to this week’s Five Sentence Fiction. It’s amazing what creative people can do with just five sentences.

#SVWFlash : Week 6

http://shenandoahvalleywriters.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/buzz-aldrin-footprint-pic-1969.jpgWe watched as 280,000 miles away, a 15 kilometer diameter asteroid collided with our home. Earth. It was beautiful to watch. We knew everyone and everything was gone. Except us, standing on the moon. When our oxygen supplies were exhausted we’d asphyxiate. The human race would be extinct.

I wrote this in response to the prompt for the 6th SVW Flash weekly challenge. All entries are 50 words, exactly. Please go read all the entries. You may be surprised at what some gifted people can do with just 50 words.

#12DaysBop : Day 6 – The Sun Sends Its Regards

It’s day 6 of Stacy Hoyt’s 12 Days Of Christmas Blog Hop. Today, we get a gift from the sun…

We all knew the sun could be violent. We’d all watched solar flares and coronal mass ejections in the past. Some had been large enough to send massive amounts of particles across the 93 million miles between us and the sun. We’d never seen anything like this.

We knew it was a solar mass ejection. But it dwarfed everything we’d ever seen. And it just kept going. And going. And going. I tried to find the words to describe the images. I gave up. “Oh, shit.,” was all I could come up with.

After a couple of hours of watching, Nathan broke the silence. “I think I’ll go find a beach somewhere.” Then he walked out. I thought he’d had a brilliant idea, so I followed him.

We bought a stupefying amount of beer on our way to the beach. Carried it all out on the sand with us. We stood there, watching the waves and getting stinking drunk.

This was it. The mythical mega flare. A solar flare so ginormous it would sterilize the whole damn planet. We’d watched the satellite’s image feed for two hours after the flare had started. When we left it was still going. We’d never forget what we saw. It was burned into our memories.

The flare would take several days to reach us. When it did, it would last for days. It would fry every satellite and melt the global electric grid. Everything electric would short-circuit. Forests would ignite. Houses would burn. The oceans would turn to steam.

The Sun had spoken. Life would have to start over.

“Been nice knowing you, Steve.”

“You too, Nathan.”

We sat down on the beach, with our beers. And waited.

Please go enjoy the rest of the stories in the blog hop. There are some really gifted writers out there. It’s well worth reading their work. You can find the other entries here:

The 12 Days Of Christmas Blog Hop, Day 6 – The Gift Of Sun

Watching A Garden Grow

I can feel the changes
Taking hold.

It’s almost like
Watching grass grow.
Or paint dry.
Knowing where it leads.
Knowing what the end result
Will be.

And knowing
There’s just no way
To speed up time.

How long does it take
For seeds
Planted in a garden,
To sprout,
And grow.
And then mature.
Into something you can eat?

How long does it take
For a flower bulb
To grow once more,
Until it reaches full bloom?

For both of these
You know it will.
You know the end result.
But you can’t say
How long it will take
For that result
To be reached.

And you don’t know
If you’ll have to start over
Because a storm came through
And tore the garden up.

And you don’t know
If you’ll have to plant once more
Because the rabbits
And the birds,
And all the other creatures
Of the wild
Found your garden
Tasted good.

It’s not something
That’s predictable.
Just something
You plan for.

And then you wait.
And hope.
And care for.
The garden that you planted.

This is where
I find my life.
I’ve planted all the seeds.
And now I only need
To take care of the garden.
And water it.
And pull out weeds.

And beyond that
All that I can really do
Is sit back
And watch.
And wait.

For I don’t know at all
When the garden
Of my life
Will finally be grown.
I only know
That someday
The flowers that I planted,
And care for at this time
Will grow.
And then will bloom.

So don’t ask me when
I’ll get back on my feet.
Don’t ask me
When I’ll do the things
You think I should do.

That’s not how this works.
I’ve already tried to do things
How and when
You thought I should.

And that’s how I wound up here.
Carefully tending
To the garden that I’ve planted
In this past year.
And watching.
As it slowly grows.

Into what I know
It will someday be.