Photo Fiction; 500 Years Later


http://kattermonran.com/2013/09/26/photo-fiction-500-years-later/

Each week, a photo is uploaded to be used as a prompt for Flash Fiction. A story of between 100-200 words (although mine this week is 243 words). The story can be anything including poetry or – as some people have done – true life. If you would like to have a go, follow this link. If you want to read other stories, then click on the InLinkz image just below. Or a frog as one blogger called it.

My story is the culmination of an ongoing saga. If you wish to read this in its entirety, click on the link above – Fiction –> Photo Fiction: Daniel’s Story

get the InLinkz code

weeds

500 years later this is what is left. It used to be a beautiful lake. But dry air and hot sun left nothing but a pool of water. It saddens me that this earth was made in the beginning to fulfill our every need.

But because of pollution and ozone layer problems  we have shrinking problems. Animals work hard to stay alive. Instead of remaining in their natural habitat, deer, possum, skunks and snakes roam a way from their territory and come into residential neighborhoods.

Trying to survive, finding food and drink has become master over their day.

Daily Prompt; A to Z


http://dailypost.wordpress.com, DP, Daily Prompt

Create a short story, piece of memoir, or epic poem that is 26 sentences long, in which the first sentence begins with “A” and each sentence thereafter begins with the next letter of the alphabet.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us ORDERLY.

A tale of a lady, a sister

But whom all know as Terry

Came to be the caregiver

Doting on him giving love

Every time he felt insecure

For his life once used to be

Grieving for what he could not touch

Having the words said to him

I love you and I care

Just when he was about to give up the

King from above sent me a message

Love him he said, give him peace

Make his life better

Nurture his spirit

Open his heart to acceptance

Put all you have in this

Quest I have given unto you

Riches will not be in monies

Sailing along will be rough

The fact is I know you can do this

Unto you I have given this gift

Very few have the patience

Wise words you will speak

Xerox your heart into his

Zoos care for their own, and so you will too.lion

Written by,

Terry Shepherd

07/27/2013

Daily Prompt; Moment of Kindness


man  in wheelchair

http://dailypost.wordpress.com, DP, Daily Prompt

Describe a moment of kindness, between you and someone else — loved one or complete stranger.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us KINDNESS.

A broken man sitting in the garage, looking around at the cob webs, high lighted from the sun. What had he done to himself and his family? How could he be so weak? Straying a way from his very beliefs he was brought up and fed on.

He picked up a stick, twisting it between his fingers. Tears pooling in his eyes as he shaped the one slender piece into a shape of a gun.

He couldn’t admit to his wife his wrong doing. It wasn’t her fault, why make her miserable. Wasn’t he miserable enough for the two of them? And yet he knew, somewhere deep inside of him tugged at him, pulling his strings, begging him to tell.

Standing up and dusting himself off he walked through the doors and bolted them behind him. He went inside the house. His wife was running errands and the sound of the cuckoo clock was all that could be heard.

Walking to the gun cabinet, he ran his hand over the smooth dark wood. Feeling the coldness of the shell reminded him of his heart that one day not long ago.

Making prints on the glass doors his fingers fumbled with the latch until it slowly opened and there with nothing separating them were his favorite hunting guns. It would be so easy. Take a gun down you coward. You are nothing but a stinking coward. Do the only thing you can do, pull the trigger.

He held the gun in his arms as if it was a precious cargo and then got the oil and his polishing rag and sat on the couch and oiled it. When he was finished he could see a slight reflection of himself. Looking at it he felt shame. Tears slowly trickled down his face.

He could take it no longer. He picked the gun up and headed towards his truck. Getting in and putting it in reverse he wanted to see her one more time. The truck proceeded in the direction of town as it had done so many times before.

He knew where she had gone so he pulled into a business parking lot and parked as far back as he could. The shade of the trees helped hide him a bit better. He waited, fingering the gun, watching for her to walk by.

Soon she came into his view. She was stopped, talking to a lady who was a neighbor to them. She was so beautiful. He knew he had married the prettiest woman in the world. They had been married for ten years, most of them a joy.

So why, why in the world did he do what he did? There were no more tears. Instead, anger began to over take his soul as he hated himself more and more for his stupid mistake.

She worked with him. She was always so nice and she smelled good. She teased his manhood with revealing clothes. One of those few nights an argument had broken out at home.

He left and went to the local bar and there she was. Flirting with the guys on the stools. She turned to see who had walked in and their eyes met. She walked over and he had let his ego get the best of him. He knew he was right and he was hurt that his own wife didn’t believe him. Before the evening was over he had sex with this woman.

A pay back, a back fire, a total waste. Now he sat here holding the gun, watching his wife, and thinking of the best way to do it, when a knock came at the side of his truck. He rolled his window down and stared at the dirty man looking up at him.

“Mr. I seen you sitting here in your truck and I thought maybe you could just spare me some change. I am awful hungry. I haven’t eaten all day. Ever since I had that accident and my legs got blown off, I have wished most times I was dead. I used to have this great life. I had a good job at the foundry. I had a pretty wife and a couple of kids. But, then this happened.” He pointed down to the place where once legs would be hanging.

He laid the gun down and dug in his pocket, pulling out a twenty. He handed it down to the guy and as the stranger took it, he said,”Bless you my friend. I am sure God will bless you for saving my life today.”

He watched the man wheel himself out of the parking lot and watched until he could see him no more. He looked to where his wife was standing and saw that she was no longer there.

He started his truck and drove back home. Putting the gun back in the cabinet he sat at the table waiting for her to get home. Finally the door handle turned. He looked up into the most beautiful eyes and said, “Honey, can you come sit by me. I have something to tell you.”

Hoping To One Day


Racked with stress, and no sleep Tess gave notice of her job and  high-rise apartment in New York City and began her packing. Her parents were from the hills of  Tennessee. Born and raised Tess had dreamed of moving up and out one day.

But when things…

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Hoping To One Day


Racked with stress, and no sleep Tess gave notice of her job and  high-rise apartment in New York City and began her packing. Her parents were from the hills of  Tennessee. Born and raised Tess had dreamed of moving up and out one day.

But when things were too much home always drifted back in her mind. Many nights she cuddled up with her fluffy pillow and cried praying for sleep. After a medical check-up and learning her blood pressure was in danger and the script in her hands for relaxers, she knew she wanted to live again.

Her parents were deceased but the shack she had been born in still stood and it was left to her. She hadn’t stepped foot back for over five years. As the taxi sat in the gravel drive way, she hesitated getting out. Had she made a mistake? She could turn around and go straight back to the city. She could take those pills and somehow make it all work. But the noise, the stress, cold-hearted people. No, she turned the door handle and getting out handed the driver a tip as he took her luggage out of the trunk. She would stay.

The driver smiled and tipped his hat and then backed out throwing dirt behind him. Seemed like he was in a big hurry to leave. She stood staring, memories of years gone by rushing back to face her.

As she fumbled trying to find the old house key, the neighbor walked up to her and shook her hand. Tess had hired Ben a few years back to keep the yard mowed. He had made sure the house inside was secure and kept his eyes on the property.

She had written to him weeks ago and let him know she was coming back home. He took her luggage and the two walked up to the door. He took out his key and unlocked it allowing her in first. He couldn’t help get a nose full of some sweet-smelling perfume.

He watched her walk in. He had never met her in  person. She looked nothing like her voice sounded. Cute little bottom, small hips. She walked with a strong stride though like she  had been used to being a leader.

He sat down her bags and watched as she gazed over the place. Slowly she walked to each piece of furniture and took off the white sheets. She looked in Ben’s direction and said matter of fact,”you have taken good care of the place. I want you to know I appreciate it.”

“No problem Tess. It was my pleasure. I best be going now and leave you some time to adjust to your new or old surroundings.”

“Do you have to go? It is so quiet here. It feels odd and I would appreciate the company.”

Ben had nothing better to do. He was in his mid forties. He was single. He had never found the right woman yet, but he always hoped. His place was just up the hill, a short walk from here.

“Sure, Tess, I will stay as long as you wish.” She shot him a quick look wondering what he meant by that remark. As long as I wished? He better not get any ideas just because I am alone here.

He took her bags to her bedroom then the two went through the kitchen and rewashed the dishes and eating utensils. He scrubbed the floor and she wiped down the table and chairs and washed the windows.

When they were finished she was tired. “Do you want some coffee? I brought some with me and I see an old coffee pot over here. I am not sure how to work the darn thing. It has no electric cord.”

Ben roared with laughter. “That’s called a perk coffee maker. You put the cold water in with the ground beans and sit it under the fire on the stove. Here, you go get the coffee and I will turn the gas on the stove.”

She went to go get the coffee and he lit the burners. The stove ran on a tank of propane. This reminded him that he would have to make sure the chimney was cleaned and free of critters and nests.

While the coffee was brewing they looked out the windows. She had never remembered how beautiful it was here. It was October and all the trees were so colorful. Oranges and reds and bright yellows.

He must have sensed what she was thinking as he replied,”they are beautiful aren’t they.” The two walked from room to room inspecting what needed to be done tomorrow.

“Do you know anything about building fires Tess? I will check out the fireplace tomorrow. I didn’t do it today as nice as it has been.”

“I’m sure I can figure it out. I watched Papa do it for years. It can’t be that hard.”

“Do you know how to use a shotgun?”

She turned and looked into very dark brown eyes and asked,”why would I need to know how to use a shotgun? Is it dangerous back here in these woods?”

Again he laughed. A laugh that was contagious. Her being tired and getting out of the city renewed her in some odd way. She found herself laughing right a long with him.” No, Tess it is as safe as can be, but the animals. There are bears out here and plenty of fox and coyotes. You never know when you may come face to face with one.”

“Well, no, I have never even had a gun in my hands. Papa used to let me touch his gun after he polished it, but nothing more.”

“Well this is something I will do personally, teach you. You can’t be too careful out here in the woods.”

Tess yawned and he noticed the smooth lines of her lips.”Well, I better get going now. Is there anything else I can help you with Tess?”

“No, I think I will be alright for tonight. Thanks Ben for all of your help. Some day soon I will have to have you and your wife over for dinner.”

“I’d like that but it will just have to be me. I have not married yet, but hoping to one day.” She caught his eye and then walked him to the door. Saying goodnite, she locked the door and went to her bedroom and slept the best she had in years.

The next morning came and Ben drove over her car. It was a small car, nothing special, but he had stored it ever since her parents died. It had been their car and it went with the property. He offered to drive her into town to get some groceries, and she agreed.

On the trip she was in awe at the beauty. Why had she ever wanted to leave this place? What kind of crazy thoughts did she used to have?

Ben introduced her to the butcher and the manager of the store. The two walked down aisle after aisle until she thought she had everything she could possibly need. Flour, sugar, butter, eggs and  milk. She was glad she was a good cook. She spent enough time in the kitchen with Mama growing up, she had learned to cook and bake very well.

Helping get her groceries in the house and handing her the keys to the car he bid her goodbye and told her if she needed anything to just give him a ring. The rest of the day she spent cleaning the rest of the house. Thank goodness she had gifted her parents an electric washer and dryer one Christmas. She could remember the old wringer washer Mama had and how much work it was to do just one load.

She dusted cobwebs, took the curtains down and washed them. There was a clothes line and she preferred that over the dryer. She always did like the smell of fresh sheets on her bed. Something she never got to do in the city.

She was finishing up and Ben had came over  and was worked  on the chimney. He carried some wood in and showed her how to make the fire quick. Soon there was a roaring fire. Shadows were casting from the walls giving the newly cleaned living room a whole different look.

It wasn’t cold anymore. It had warmth. She hadn’t even thought of the big city she had left only days before. She was thinking about how this was always home and as she looked over at Ben who was attending to the fire, he turned and their eyes locked.

The Raven, Edgar Allan Poe, Reading by Vincent Price


Edgar Allan Poe Museum (Richmond, Virginia)

Edgar Allan Poe Museum (Richmond, Virginia) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Two Hearts Touched


2010.03.24 - Breakfast

Hiding under the stairs I noticed movement between the slats. I stopped and turned around. Cautiously walking around the frame I saw two whites staring right towards me. I walked slowly towards the direction as I knew it was a person, maybe a child.

I knelt down and as I  came closer to him I saw his arms go up and cover his face as if I was going to hit him. He tried to twist his feet so that he could escape easily. I managed to find an old torn newspaper and made this my seat.

He  quickly  became aware that I was not going to harm him. He and I sat quietly. So close we could touch each other but our bodies remained separate as if an invisible screen was between us.

I observed his clothing as his shivering began to subside. He was in dirty clothes that looked like they had never seen a rock and water. His shoes had holes in them and the souls looked worn.

I bet he is hungry I thought to myself. I took my purse off of my arm and placed it on my lap. The movement startled him and he jumped back. I sat with my fingers resting on the clasp of my purse. Our eyes locked as if we were in a dual gun war. Each waiting for the other to draw first.

I watched his feet as he crept ever so quietly back to his original spot. He let his eyes drop from mine and they wandered down to what I was holding. I asked him, ” Are you hungry child”?

He nodded at me but still did not move. My eyes lowered to my purse and then I looked back at him. My eyes were speaking to him letting him know he was safe with me. I saw his shoulders relax a little and I opened my purse.

Rummaging through it with his eyes never leaving my fingers I found two items. I handed them to him and he quickly took them.  His eyes told me thank-you. The speed of his hands putting the hard candies  in his mouth proved that he was near  starvation.

We sat for a while. He was enjoying the flavor. I looked between the boards of the stairs. Wondering if anyone had noticed us. It was if the streets had parted. Dropping souls that would interfere. Leaving the two of us alone to discover each other.

He finished his candy and I could read his eyes that he wanted more. I dug in my purse but could only find one piece of gum. I handed it to him and he savored it. When the flavor dissolved he swallowed it.

I don’t know how long the two of us had been sitting there. I knew that I was becoming uncomfortable from my sitting position. I stirred and this time he did not move. I got up and decided that I better go. Errands were waiting to be finished.

I looked at him and smiled. He looked up at me and his sad eyes became his face. I started to tell him that I was going to leave. I was going to tell him to go home when he tugged on my dress.

He stood up and I noticed he was just a small child. No taller than three feet. I asked him, ” Where is your mama? Do you live close to here”?

As fists formed he rubbed his eyes and I could see big tears sliding down his cheeks. My heart was breaking. This child had no home. Or had he run a way from home? I bet his parents are looking for him.

I reached down and gave him a  big hug. I wanted to pick him up and take him home with me. But I dare not.  The colors of skin separated us. I leaned down and gave him a kiss on the cheek and he wrapped his little arms around my neck. He would not let go and he almost pulled me back to the ground.

We looked at each other with tears in all eyes. We both knew the rules but our hearts were ripping. I couldn’t do it. I could not let him stay here all alone. I took him by his hand and we stepped out into the light of day.

One of his fingers went into his mouth. Afraid but hope bringing us together. I walked forward and he followed me. We made it safely through the city streets and I saw my home in sight.

I stopped and looked at him. I glanced towards the house. He dropped his finger from his mouth. Neither of us said anything. We walked to the front door. I unlocked it and we both went in.

I took him to the kitchen table and had him sit. I opened my refrigerator and took out some left-overs from the night before. Soon I set a piping hot plate filled with biscuits and fried potatoes. The smell of the hot ham infiltrated his nostrils. When I handed him the fork and spoon  he wasted no time.

I sat across from him watching.  After wards we talked. I asked, “What is your name child”?

“Darrell” he said.

“Do you belong somewhere close to here”?

” I did, but they told me to find another place to eat. Mama said there were too many mouths to feed”.

” Would you like to stay here with me”?  He nodded his head.

I took him by the hand and led him into the bathroom. While he sat on the step-stool I started some bath water. I went to the one room in the house that was not visited often. I walked over to the dresser and pulled clean clothing out. I think these will fit. The two boys are about the same size.

Before leaving the room she walked towards the nightstand and picked up the framed photo. It was her son Tod. Tod had died two years ago from a fever. She hugged the photo to her heart and then rested it back on the stand.

She closed the door softly behind her and went back to the bathroom. She got out clean towels and laid the clothes beside him. He looked at me and I took my cue to leave him to bathe.

That was the first day  of the rest of our lives. Neither of us ever looked back. Today I am sitting in this grand auditorium. I am watching my son graduate. He is going to be a doctor.