“Uggghh.” Janey’s fingers left long claw marks in the hot sand around her. As the sun beat down on her bare legs the scent of burning flesh tickled her nose. “Ugghh … grape … juice …” In all of her five years she had never been so thirsty.
“Janey!” A mirage of her older sister appeared; just like the movies. “Mom said to sit up. You’re taking up too much room in the sandbox.” Hana dropped a bottle of water into the sand beside her younger sister. Janey flopped onto her back, “Grape juuuice.” “Beggars can’t be choosers, Janey.”
Word Count: 99 Word/Phrase: “Beggar’s can’t be choosers” For Carrot Ranch and a reappearance of the sisters that appeared in this story
You always said the kitchen was our gathering place.
“Over fine food families are saved.”
We’ve finally begun washing away the smoke gathered on your plates. Odds and ends scavenged from charred remains gather dust among piles of bills. There’s a bill for every emotion it seems but our payment for grief falls short.
In your absence we gather under your favorite tree. We try to laugh but they burn our lungs on the way out, so we stand and pretend. Maybe we believe you’ll turn the corner, picnic basket in hand. Maybe if we just squint a little harder …
I walked my dog here from the time the rain smelled of flowers through heated summer pains. We grew old here, grey hairs cropping up like pine needles. Soon we were covered with avalanches of them, prickly and sticky like aches and pains. Needles gave way to winters and snows heavy with human sorrow.
I had my first kiss here when birds were still quiet against the rising sun. He rested his hand on my cheek. He told me it would be alright. We planned a wedding through the morning dew and afternoon rays. But when the evening breeze came it left no remains. In the dark they strangled what we thought we had. By midnight it was just me and the needles, alone again.
I find myself in this place, over and over, shuffling dying fire starter from one memory to another. There’s smoke in the distance; the smell of burning dreams. I wonder what’s the cost to catch it all aflame and dissolve into the night, a waft of regret on the scent of what remains.
Word Count: 178 For Sunday Photo Fiction – This might as well have been partially written by Dirty Three (seriously, I’ve been on a binge)
“When’s the last time you took a bath?” “A what now?” “A bath? You know, you take a bath, use a bath bomb, read, stuff like that.” “Read? In the bath?” “Yeah. When’d you last do that?” “You been cruising Pinterest and self care memes?” “So what if I have.” “I’m sorry to break this to you but it’s showers only around here unless I accidentally spill a bucket of water on myself.” “But why?” “Because last time I took a bath it lasted 12 minutes and I was interrupted 32 times.” “What? When? Who did that?!” “Yeah! It was you!”
Word Count: 99 Word/Phrase: Bucket of Water (kind of liberal here) My kid loves to relax in baths, she doesn’t quite get why I don’t do it too. A literal slice of life for carrot ranch.