Weekly Writing Challenge; Backward
Her skin wet,…
Weekly Writing Challenge; Backward
Her skin wet,…
Her skin wet, wrinkled from being in waters too long. Labored breathing, resting on her back. Looking up at the dark ceiling of her shelter. Glancing to either side of her, looking out through the opening seeing the beautiful blue water. The water she had spent so much time in trying to escape.
Skye was born in the U.S.A. and was moved as a young child to a tropical island. Her father was in the military and as he gained rank and came near his time of retirement he made the decision to move his family to an area he had always dreamed of.
Skye was a late baby in her parents lives. A moment of passion, one night under the stars, gave the new baby her name. Barefoot and barely clothed she grew to learn the island. Short cuts through the mountain. Bike trails into town.
Sky learned quickly. She excelled in the top of her classes. She was a trusting and innocent soul but in the books she was a scholar. She made friends easily, both males and females.
By the time she was a teenager she wore long wavy hair and with her beautiful blue eyes she cast many an eye. Slender from many days of swimming and hiking she felt comfortable in her own skin.
It was summertime, it was always hot here on the island, but this day it was exceptionally hot. She decided to go swimming. Chores at home could wait. She had the same list daily so she could get them done before her parents arrived home.
There were so many swimmers and she just wanted to relax. Skye moved down the beach until she could find a perfect spot for her. Dressing down to the nude, she waded in and then glided into the water.
Coolness immediately over took her body sending small shivers up and down her spine. It felt so calm and the clear blue allowed her to look beyond the water’s surface. Before long she was pushing herself deeper into the sea.
Able to see the fish scattering moving beneath her made her forget how far out she was going. Popping up for air and going down into the depths of the waters, she immersed her brain into the beauty. Ignoring her book smarts about being here alone. Casting a way all she had been taught, she was caught off guard when a current caught her and carried her much farther out than was safe.
She was startled into reality and rose to the surface grasping at fresh air only to be pulled back into the dark waters. She felt a brush of something hard against her leg. Forcing herself to take notice of what was surrounding her she saw the huge creature.
A shark with enormous teeth. Full-length swimming in circles around her. She started splashing the water trying to scare him a way but it seemed to fire him up even more. She tried lying lifeless feeling herself become weak as she knew she needed air once again.
She relaxed everything in her. She allowed herself to be slowly floated to the surface and gasping for air she felt pain in her leg. Scrambling to get a way, she used every fiber in her body and swam. Swimming faster and faster, gasping for air, darkness swirling around her eyes, she became afraid of passing out.
Becoming supper for this beast. Suddenly she was tossed out of the water. She ended up flipping over. The shark had gotten under her and pushed her with all his force. He knew to win the game he needed to wear the pawn out.
Once on her stomach again she swam harder determined to escape. Racing through her mind was a slide show consisting of her parents, her friends at school, questions about her future.
Once more the nudge came and she was tossed like a salad into the air. Feeling pain surge through her limbs she thought that all she would see was body parts floating on the surface as loose lettuce dropped from the bowl.
He was tired, she was tired. She took advantage of her free seconds and looked quickly around trying to locate any safe haven. Out of the corner of her eye she saw a dark hole. It was so far a way she couldn’t pin point what it was. Her head hurt, her body felt shattered but her spirit refused to give up.
Her body began to wear. She continued to remain lifeless. The game was becoming dull for him The waters calmed as small gentle waves washed over her. The shark, he was losing interest.
She started to pray to the Gods above. She rolled over on her back and lay limp in the water. She felt the nudge of the long nose against her back but willed herself to not move.
She could feel her heart racing and she took deep breaths to slow down the beating. Gaining seconds of new energy, she could feel the shark beneath her but his attack was losing strength.
Skye floated for what seemed to be hours. The attack was leaving. The waters stilled. After she felt safe enough to turn over she looked into the water beneath her. The beast was gone.
She lay there for a while longer making sure she had bought enough time to make her escape. Slowly she started to paddle with her arms, moving as a snail on dry ground. When she was secure in her decisions she picked up her speed.
She swam until the dark hole became reality. A cave, a gold nugget, security against the strangers at sea. She swam until she could reach rock. Skye tried to climb up on the ledge but her body was tired.
She lay there floating and then tried again. Another try, another fail. On the third try she made it. She crawled into hiding, into safety. Letting her body guide her she ended up on her back, gasping for air. Her body ached, her gash was bleeding, but she was safe.
Getting up in the morning is a pain in the butt. Reach over and nearly tip forward tripping over myself to pick up the darn old house robe that fell off the bed through the night. Standing up trying to put house robe on but have an itch I have to scratch first. Why is it the first thing in the morning a body has to pass gas and scratch?
Looking at myself in the full length mirror is enough to make me want to lean over the ship as I fill light-headed from seeing the uneven wrinkles. As quickly as I can I put my covering on and leaning one hand on the bed and the other on the dresser I do the circus balancing act getting those darn old stretched out slippers on.
I waddle into the bathroom and my eyes bug out of my head as I flip the light on and see how my eye lids have drooped half way over the color of my eyes. I raise my house coat and sit down. I have to make sure I do this each and every morning as I learned the hard lesson once before.
I had gotten up from the pot and thought someone had pasted ice-cubes to my naked butt. I jumped without my feet leaving the ground and reached my arm behind me to see what in the world had a hold of me. You would not believe it! It was the end of my house coat. It had taken a dip in the water as I was doing my thing. I sharpened up real quick after this.
I got one of my better wash rags that only had three holes in it and I wet it with the coldest water I could. After my fingers turned bright red I knew the temperature was ready. I slapped it onto my face where it freeze-dried all my wrinkles and made my eye lids fly up like an old-fashioned window blind.
I left it there while I counted to sixty. One, two, five, ten, fifteen, 60. I toss it in the stool water by accident. I seriously meant to hit the target of the tub, but dang it, I missed. I reached down in there and pulled it out by my two fingers and whooshed it like a basket ball shot straight in the trash can. There wasn’t any way I was ever gonna use that rag on my face. Never going to wash my face with pee water.
I wet my tooth-brush and then dipped it in some alcohol. You know it’s the quickest way to get the body moving in the mornings. I tried pushing that darn blue stuff out of the tube, but I guess I haven’t got my groove on yet. I had to set it down on the bathroom sink and use my fingers on one hand while holding the brush with my other. Oops, I think I surprised myself at the strength I still have at my age. Toothpaste came squirting out and went all over the mirror.
If you ask me I think I could sell this for quite a few dollars as it would be known as modern art. I took my finger and wiped some off the mirror and then rubbed it on to the bristles. Now down to business. Brush brush brush. Up and down in and out. Wow, I better be careful with what I am saying. Sounds kind of perverted to me.
Done with the brush I rinse it off and stick it back in the tiny hole it goes in and fill my glass half way with water. Rinse gargle, oh yuck, I just swallowed a bunch of water and I wasn’t ready. Gag, choke, eyes watering. Beating myself on the chest I get my choking under control.
I pull out my hair brush. Now you have to be real careful how you use this special brush. It belonged to my grandma and it is missing a few bristles. One time I was brushing my hair and sort of wiggling back and forth to the radio and didn’t realize that I was forming Edward Scissorhand marks on my forehead. Don’t ever say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. I am here to tell you that you can. Don’t push too hard, and don’t get too close to the hair-line.
Now I am all done in the bathroom. I tie my belt around my house coat a little tighter. You have to do this because there are a bunch of perverts creeping around our neighborhood all the time. They are just dying to get a chance to take a quick peek at us cougar women.
The sun is shining, and I can see the boy mowing the neighbor’s yard. Everyone uses this kid for mowing. We pay him a couple of bucks and he grins as he leaves with his money. I swear one time I saw him flip me off when he turned around to leave. Do you think I should maybe up his pay to three dollars?
I flip the television on and turn the sound up to the number eight out of ten. I turn it on to the local news so I can get a good look at that sexy weather man. I make my way out to the kitchen and start my percolator..
A few scratches to the head and a few more to the other spots and then I look out my window and sigh. I have made it another morning. I tinkled and wiped. I brushed my hair and my teeth. The coffee is perking. Now on to the breakfast meal.
How many bugs do you swallow that you do not see? I had a tiny gnat or something similar
that was flying around on my computer screen. He loved the light! I followed him around with my finger trip and tried to confuse him and make him dizzy, and finally he left.
Later, I took a nice big drink of my very ice-cold water. I was so thirsty because we had Domino’s pizza for supper. The spices get me every time. LOL. I was drinking and quenching my thirst and was looking down at my glass almost cross-eyed, and I spotted the spot! It was him! The gnat! That pest had tried to get me back for me trying to make him dizzy, by landing his butt in my glass. If I would not have looked he may have ended up in the deep, black hole in the back of my mouth, but instead, I gasped, choked, and water came flooding out my nose. I coughed, my eyes watered, and I about up-chucked. I guess I will never tease bugs again! I have learned my lesson.
But, it made me start thinking, about how many times I do take chug-a-lug drinks when I am so hot and thirsty and don’t look. How many bugs have I swallowed? How about those hot, humid nights when we are sitting outside, trying to catch a feel of a soft breeze going by. Have the bugs invaded my drinks?
What about the opened cola cans sitting outside. Are we inviting them in for a swim? Did we invite them in for tea? I think we must all be aware of what we are drinking and make sure we have not taken more into our guts than what we want there.
Well my gosh, now there is another gnat flying around. It must be Al’s banana peelings. I don’t have any garbage lying around. Quickly, I lay a tissue over the top of my newly poured ice water. I am not open for another water slide out my nose!! LOL
The next time someone says to me, what do you do all day and why don’t you get a real job, I am going to be a tough cookie and kick them in the butt!
Because I stay home and care for my brother, I was forced to help someone remove the water out of the toilet bowl, clean the crap water from under it, watch the old wax seal be taken out, and it was yucky and smelly. Watch the new seal be placed, clean the bottom of the toilet itself, and see it put back into its rightful spot, tightened down and then to deal with the mess.
The seal had broken and when we saw how the seal had been squished almost flat on the front end, I knew that my suspicions had been proven true. Al sits on the pot so many times a day, and leans even further forward thinking he should have a BM every time he goes. If this doesn’t happen, he proceeds to try to force it out himself. It has been a disgusting thing and I am working very hard on this goal of stopping.
We did discover that bananas work, but all the time he had been doing this over time in the bathroom, even before I was finally aware of what was going on, he had damaged the seal.
After everything was done, I discovered that a large mirrored picture in frame that he kept in the corner, had soaked up leaking water, so I had to carefully clean that up with a disinfectant, and pray that this doesn’t cause permanent damages to a coca cola item. After cleaning the mirror, then I had to pick up his three bathroom rugs and wash them, and they are now in the dryer, then I had to clean the sink, stool, and bathtub from where old towels had been used to sop up water.
Then after all that was sterilized and clean once again, I had to sit with Al and have a conversation about how this had happened and how we could work on preventing this from happening again. This of course brought tears, so then I had to have the same conversation we always have about how it is not his fault. With his head hanging low, he seemed to understand somewhat, but from then on, I have had to check upon him when he uses the restroom, to make sure he is not half way bent to the floor, and of course, he doesn’t like being messed with when he is in private mode, but I can’t help it.
After cleaning up the table, floor, and chair from his lunch, I proceeded to steam mop the kitchen and his bathroom floor to make sure all germs had escaped his area. Next he went to his bedroom and proceeded to sit in the dark and with no television on, so I had to go sit on the bed and explain how easy it is to become sad or depressed in total darkness and silence. He started crying and I suggested he take his nap early, but instead, he turned the light and television on low, then I told him he could not hear it and he needed to turn it up. It was a fight to the end, but he was not going to deviate away from his routine nap time, and I was not going to let him sit in silence and darkness, and I did win that one.
I have just finished sweeping the house and putting the steam mop away, and he wanted his back washed because he sweats so bad from his Parkinson’s side effects, so I went to do that for him.
Sweeper away, steam mop hidden, back washed, new toilet ring placed, mirror cleaned, bathroom cleaned, floors steamed. I am now waiting for buzzer to go off on dryer.
It is mid afternoon and I wonder how long I will be able to sit here at my desk. Cali the kitty noticed I am sitting here so she wants petted, and I hear my bed calling me for a nice nap on this cloudy day.
I am so looking forward to those eight hours total of relaxation time next week.
Now, do you want to stay at your paying job where you go out and work with others and socialize and have time away from the house, or would you prefer my stay at home job where you clean and sanitize and clean up shit, give lessons on living, dry eyes, help feed and what ever comes your way????
Looking out over the ocean, she stands there in awe, as a vast wave comes closer to her, knowing this wave could whisk her away and into the depths of the waters, never to be found again, swimming as a mermaid, running from all problems that were dealt with the prior day.
To have no one to answer to and no one to cause pain is the direction she dreams of following. Work calling her name too often, the telephone ringing too much, she dreams of a paradise of silence, where no one knows her name any longer.
A stranger passes by and with his head nods in her direction, raising a hand in a gesture that shows me he is friendly. What is his name, what does he want? Can it be true that he is just crossing over to the other side of her, not wanting anything, not knowing her reasons for standing at the water’s edge?
He walks by leaving her once again staring and wishing she herself was a wave in this huge body of water. Able to be swiftly taken to other areas unexplored and waiting to be called to, hearing her name being whispered to come with me and you shall never experience pain again.
Thoughts of the past flash before her eyes. Memories of laughter, tears, and joy and sadness wash over her like soft petals dropping from a rose flower. Shivers creep quickly over her entire skin that hides and covers the soul that is meant to carry such heavy loads.
Faces of the past come straight towards her, forcing her to remember past relationships where trusts were once formed but now broken in half. Friendships that were there from years long ago, now disappeared, only being thought of as if seeing a shooting star for the very first time. A smile comes over the face and then fades quickly away, as the truth of her life comes back into focus.
Now being forced to walk along the edges of areas unknown, relying on strangers to direct her path in life.Wanting to believe what is being said, but fears of non trust rise to the surface, once again pulling up the borders of her heart, keeping it protected from those who do not care. Those vultures in the sky that fly in circles ready to sweep down and take the life that you have breathed for so long. One bite from their mouth can send you flipping upside down and sending you into the orbits of space, never quite sure if you will return standing on your feet once again.
Life is hard and yet she knows that so many make it sound so easy. Trust, trust in something, in someone, this is the way you survive living, and each step you walk forward, you look backwards to see if you are still following, or have you lost your way and are nothing but a shadow in your own path.
Can she really think of herself at this point in her life? Can she pretend that it is she that is standing alone out here at the water’s edge, or should she acknowledge that pieces of her past and present are floating like bubbles on the water’s surface.
She walks away from the edge, kicking sand pebbles with her bare feet, feeling the warmth of its surface upon each step taken. The thoughts of the ocean calling her name remain with her, as she goes back into reality, trying once more to make her own mark in this world.
There were no clouds in the sky. The sun was boldly shining down on their already tanned bodies. No breezes coming from either direction from the world, and it was only nine in the morning.
Martha had been up since dawn. After waking her oldest child, she sent him, Luke, out to the wood pile to bring in fresh wood. With the wood she placed it in the wood stove and lit it, waiting for it to burn down to the right heat so she could start breakfast.
After getting the stove started, she and Luke went to the chicken coop and gathered enough eggs for their breakfast. Luke then continued on to the smoke house and pulled down a hanging ham, and brought it in to his mama. By the time they had performed these two activities, the stove was ready to use.
While Martha prepared breakfast, Luke went to the back of the house, and in one of the bedrooms, lie sleeping the other two children. He woke Annie and Laura up and helped them to get dressed. He brought them to the kitchen and from a heated pan of water, he took a clean towel and washed both of their faces and then ran the wet towel through each of their hair. He brushed each head and then proceeded to braid their hair and pin it with a bobby pin on top of their head.
Breakfast was ready then. They all sat together, Luke waiting for mama and the girls to sit first. He was the man of the house, after their papa had been sold two months prior. Luke had been taught respect and he knew that he needed to sit last. They all held hands and together said a morning prayer, that had become a ritual. Even Laura and Annie knew most of it by heart. After the prayer, each one was given the chance to pray for someone or to ask God for favor for others and themselves. After each Amen was said aloud, they dug in to breakfast. There was no throwing anything away afterwards, as the plates looked like they had never been used.
Luke took the girls outside, while Martha cleaned up the kitchen. She took her worn picnic basket and filled it with more ham and home-made biscuits from the previous nights supper. She tied her bonnet on, and carried two more bonnets and the picnic basket outside. She and Luke tied the bonnets on the girls to protect their eyes from the sun and also not to burn their skin.
It was a daily ritual that each morning they went to the fields to pick crops. The walk they took to get to the fields seemed long with the sun beating down on them. Martha wasn’t sure but she thought it was about a mile to the nearest crop.
Mama found a lonely shade tree near by, and placed the girls under it, and she and Luke went to work. Every once in a while, a wagon would pass by and hand them a dirty jug filled with water. Each of this family partook in quenching their thirst. After the wagon passed on, the workers would go back to work, and if they were lucky, they could sneak in a short conversation with other workers.
At lunch time, the wagon came by once again, and picked up the old jug and replaced it with a new jug of water. All workers were allowed one-half hour break for lunch. Martha walked over to where her children were playing. They entertained themselves quite well. Inside the picnic basket Martha had placed two withered cloth dolls, and this kept the girls happy. They also tried to catch bugs and butterflies. They all sat under the tree and ate the basket of goodies Martha had packed.
Tummies full, and break time over, Luke laid the girls down for their naps. Martha and Luke went back to work, and the girls slept. About mid afternoon, another wagon came by, but this was not the water wagon, this was one of the boss’s hands. He motioned to Martha to come with him. She knew what this was all about, so she told Luke to continue working and to keep an eye on his sisters.
She climbed into the wagon, and met with the owner of the plantation, and had a visit in his private quarters for a short while. When he was finished with her, he motioned for her to leave with no good-byes or any words having been spoken. She didn’t hesitate, and she turned around and walked out of the door. She knew this was part of not only hers, but many other women’s jobs here in the fields.
When she got back, Luke went to her and asked her if she was alright. Although, he was her oldest, he was still a young lad, but he knew what had happened and he knew how things worked in their lives. If you wanted to remain where you were, and keep the family together as much as possible, you followed the rules, and you ask God for forgiveness for the deeds that needed to be performed.
At five-thirty a third wagon came by letting them know that they were done for the day. Martha and Luke gathered the girls and the basket and made their way home to prepare supper and do the evening chores. This was their routine each day and by dark all were asleep, dreaming of better days.