“It has that old world charm.” “It smells like death.” Anise inhaled the bitter air. Remains of buildings, and their citizens, dusted the ground in an ashen snow storm. In the distance an alarm still blared, signaling catastrophe. Something sweet and savory mingled with the distinct smell of smoldering wood. “Do you smell that?” “Delicious.” The sweet smell pulled Clove and Anise forward. In the center of the destruction a small bakery’s ovens hummed away. An old woman pointed her cane at the creatures. “You. Are you responsible for this? Have a cinnamon roll, I fucking hated this place.”
Word Count: 99 For the flash fiction challenge at Carrot Ranch
The floozy next door thought she was perfect. Mia could tell by the way she smiled and let out that noise she called a laugh. It was nauseating and often accompanied by a playful hand on your shoulder.
Today there was some kind of shindig. Her overly bleached hair was piled on her head. She pranced down her drive with a glass of red in hand.
Mia’s husband ventured, like a moth to a boozy flame. The floozy’s red nails slid over his shoulder as her laugh trilled through the air.
Today my heart is crying For something once received Simply abandoned And every second Which passes at the tick Of two The distance between us Thickens Swallowing our voices Grinding our memories To powdered dreams
A poet I’m not
But you inspire.
I’ve never had the right words
When you’re a shadow before me.
Instinct begs me
Skip the small talk,
Step right to the universe,
Dip into our souls.
But where do you fall?
Silent we stare at the sky.
The universe begs for more.
Somehow we continue
Strange how the soul calls.
I’ve been asking myself this a lot lately because I haven’t felt that I’m actually good at anything. In search of answers I took to Dr. Google, why not? My searching was promptly rewarded with an article asking what skills you developed as a child or throughout your life. My initial response was comprised of things like “I like to write,” but the article encouraged me to dig deeper. It wanted to find things that were developed out of necessity but never really considered in the context of “I’m good at that.”
It aligns with something else I’ve been attempting lately. I wake up every day and I find things that I’m proud of, things that I like or things that I’m good at. I give myself a little mantra and pep talk and go on with my day.
These things are important to me because I was raised to have practically no self-esteem. I was bullied in school, bullied at home; when I was younger I felt completely void. As far as I was concerned I was safe nowhere and no one would care if I wasn’t there anymore.
That doesn’t translate into the healthiest adulthood. Thinking of skills I learned out of necessity in childhood I often myself thinking more of weaknesses.
Giving it some deeper thought I found the things I thought were weaknesses or completely useless are worth something.
I’m extremely resilient. I’ve spent my life constantly adjusting to changing rules and expectations. As a result, I can change pace, path, vision in an instant and remain calm in the middle of it. I never realized my resilience was a skill worth noting until I joined a job where mental gymnastics and constant changes of pace were a requirement every second of the day.
I can cook. Cooking is a stress reliever for me. I can take ingredients laying around in the pantry and turn them into something palatable easily. I learned to cook early in life, starting with frozen foods thrown into the oven for my family dinner (kitchen 101!) By middle school I understood the concepts of cooking and flavor well enough to improvise (kitchen creative for beginners!).
When I put more thought into it I clearly see where these are skills to celebrate but the key is reminding myself to own them and celebrate them.
What are your strengths? Do you have skills you’ve learned throughout life that you haven’t normally considered?
The observatory was dark, giving way to a stunning array of constellations above. These quiet moments with Danny were Maeve’s favorite. Too often she found herself pushed to the side for women giggling like school girls.
She always tried to be nice but sometimes, like during their long awaited reunion dates, she found it hard to be accommodating.
“I love you.” Danny pulled her closer. “Hey, I wanna ask you something.” “Of course.” Butterflies settled in her stomach. Was this it? “I wanted to ask …”
A shrill scream cut through the dark.. “Oh my gaawwddd! It is you!”
Word Count: 99 (per the rules) Phrase/Word/Idea: A Rock Star A little late entry for the Carrot Ranch flash fiction challenge.
My father was a gravedigger; taught me everything he knew.
Like that graves aren’t really six feet deep or that coffins and shrouded bodies require different things.
He taught me about the afterlife, murder and suicide. He taught me to wield a shovel whether I dig it in the ground or fight for my life. He taught me that those who feared death would be the first to die.
Mother never appreciated his gifts. “Unladylike.”
She never imagined I would own a yacht. I took her out to sea.
My father taught me a lot, like ignoring her screams.