Thursday, April 2, 2015

Oats (100 words)

Her oatmeal had grown cold.  “Pop,” as she called him, had tried to keep it warm by placing a plate atop the bowl, but the thin walls of the house thwarted his efforts.  
She hate, hate, hated oatmeal but wasn’t too young to appreciate this small thing that he did before heading out into the fields.  

He worked too hard at the farm and at being both parents to her.  They didn’t have much, but they made do.  

Maybe tomorrow she would rise before the sun and make breakfast for him. 

She was, after all, finally turning ten this year.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Cool waters (100 words)

The water in the birdbath had all but evaporated in the blazing August sun.  I turned on the faucet and filled the concrete basin once the waters drawn up from the aquifer ran cool.

They must have been waiting at the edge of the woods, waiting for me to fulfill their need because they came, one by one.  Drawn by the sound of the spray.  A chickadee, then another, a nuthatch, a towhee, a raven. 

Soon birds were everywhere, unruffled by my presence.  They perched on me, the bushes, the bench.  Waiting for their turn to splash, bathe, and drink. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Cuppa Joe (100 words)

Famished people jostled for position by the door.  Joe grabbed a fresh pot of brew and headed to the end of the counter where the old man had sat slumped over his cup for an hour now.  

The intent was not to warm his coffee but to nudge him into paying his bill and making room for someone else. 

‘Sir,” Joe started, but the old man was asleep, one hand tucked under his chin, the other curled slightly around the empty mug. A hint of a smile touched his lips.

The noontime rush could wait.  This seat was still taken.   

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Deep (100 words)

The ocean.  Why did she always return?  Was it the fresh air, the lull of the waves, the feel of sand beneath her feet? 

No.  It was the endless horizon and the bottomless depth.  In a carefully scripted, planned life, she, on some level, relished the theory, the thought, the vision of a vast unknown. 

What lay beyond the edge, beneath this deep?  The wondering fueled her imagination, her dreams.  If fed her desire to do more, see more, get out from behind this life and discover what lay beyond her limitless horizons, beneath the surface waves, into the deep.    

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Barflies (100 words)

They taunted him.  The beautiful women at the bar.
They circled, fluttering their darkened eyelashes, flipping their spicy smelling hair, stretching their painted lips into smiles over hungry white teeth.  They were looking for something, someone, to eat.  They were starving, he could tell.  Starving for affection or attention or one night of warmth.
They swarmed around different men, sampling, tasting, trying all until each honed in on the one that fit their needs.  

But never him.

They didn’t even seem to notice him.  He sat at the bar, alone.  A mere observer of this nightly biological phenomenon.

Unnoticed, untouched…unconsumed.    

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Old Ways

Red elderberries, sambucus racemosa.  There they were, growing along the shaded roadway.

Gertie snipped a cluster and put them into the basket of the ancient Schwinn.  She’d found the last item on her list and could head home where Granny waited.  Granddad had the shingles again and these berries were needed to make a poultice to treat the fierce boils.

Granny was half Chinook Indian.  Her only medicines came from the forests and the sea.  Her only foods, grown or gathered by her own two hands.    

Ninety-seven years, give or take a few, were proof that the old ways worked.  

Friday, May 10, 2013

Keep Out

She sat.  Waiting.  Hoping.  Like every other weekend.  For them to visit.
Dressed in her Sunday best.  Food ready.  Table set for ten.

Four children.  Long gone.  Moved away.  Living life.  Apart from her.

Grandchildren, she’d never met.  Spouses, she’d never know.

Estranged from her rules.  Her wrath.  Her cold.

It had never been a home there.  They left when they were grown.
Lazy.  No good.  Burdens.  She’d said.  Get out.  Earn your keep.  Find your way.

They had.  For good.  Forever.

Strangers.  Trespassers.  Outcasts.  
Decades passed.  Still she sat.  Waiting.  Hoping.  Like every other weekend.  

For them to visit.