The family wall

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70-07-july-27th-20142Lewis hadn’t seen the walls in years. He had forgotten just how beautiful yet sinister they appeared. Julius was with him today and his childish curiosity was piqued.

“Daddy, what are all these rocks here for?”

“That’s a wonderful question Julius.” Truthfully he had no idea what they were, but he couldn’t tell his son that. “You see each rock is there for a person. Each section represents a family line and when they are all together they show how strong it can be.”

“Wow, really daddy? Who put them here?”

“No one knows really. They have been here as long as anyone can remember.”

“Where is our family? What section is for them?”

“Oh. Well. I…umm. This wall here. These rocks at the very bottom are your ancestor’s, people you never met. Each row is another generation until these on top. This large one with rough edge is mine and that smaller one beside it is your mom.”

“And this little one here? This is me daddy? Why is it so small and loose from the others? Shouldn’t it be like yours and moms?”

“You haven’t made your path just yet so it will take time for it to be a real part of the wall. As long as it is loose you can make your own choices.”

“Wow. I can’t wait to tell my friends how strong our family is!”

Lewis smiled at his son. “You do that. And if you ever get worried just remember how many people in your family are there to hold you up. We will always support you no matter how hard life, or your rock, gets.”

They walked a little more and talked. Julius wanted a picture with his family to take back and show mom. Lewis began to worry about how he was going to explain this to her? Maybe he should have just said he didn’t know but it was too late now.


Written for the Sunday Photo Fiction Prompt. Thanks to Alistair for the great photos for inspiration.

 

What, me old? Never!

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“Age is just a number,” says the well-worn adage. But is it a number you care about, or one you tend (or try) to ignore?

A few years ago I would have said yes it’s just a number, doesn’t really mean anything. If you asked me my age I would have had to think about it before answering. Am I 37, 38, 39? Wait what year was I born? Then this year I hit the big 4-0. That number has been way too easy to remember.

schoolbus-81717_150Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel any older. It seems like it was just yesterday I was getting up early to catch the bus on my way to school or getting ready for my first day of work. I still remember the early morning rushes to cram all the previous nights homework into that morning bus ride.

Nowadays it’s usually others that remind me of my age. Like the eye doctor asking me questions about my reading and then adding “We usually start seeing some changes around this age so it’s something we want to watch for.” Or the store clerk that doesn’t need to see my ID’s anymore.

Come on, please ask to see my ID. It will make me feel better!

I still do basically everything I used to, albeit maybe at a slightly slower pace. I do have a few added aches and pains in the last couple years, especially in the legs and feet, but nothing I can’t handle or that will stop me. I’m like the energizer bunny, I just keep going and going. I really hope the batteries last a good while longer.

slimerOf course when I think about my twentieth school reunion that recently passed or that this year the Rubik’s cube also turned forty I realize the years are creeping by. Did you realize Kurt Cobain has been gone twenty years or that Ghostbusters hit the big screen thirty years ago? I still remember the trailers for the movie and waiting for the theme’s music video to play on MTV. Speaking of MTV, remember when it first aired? I do! And I remember it having music videos almost all the time only broken up by an episode of Remote Control-the gameshow. I miss that.

I still think age is just a number, but one we pay more attention to the bigger it gets. I’m not old yet, but I do tend to shake my fist while in the car and scream about those young whippersnappers and their reckless driving so I guess I’m getting there slowly.


Written for today’s daily prompt: age-old questions.

Sometimes I embarass myself, even when no one else is around

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I was in the car today when I heard the first notes to a song. I instantly recognized it and started to sing. Then I realized I wasn’t by myself, the wife was there with me. It’s bad enough when I am alone and start screaming out my version of 18 and Life by Skid Row, but I couldn’t put someone else through that.

It started the gears in my head churning about just how much of a weirdo I can be at times. If anyone else was ever to see the side of me I only show myself they might be afraid, very afraid. It’s bad when you embarrass yourself by the actions you do and the only one around to even see them is yourself.

I just have to ask, am I the only one who makes faces at themselves in the bathroom mirror? Does anyone else ever walk silly when by themselves? Sometimes I might walk zombie like, dragging one leg through the house just for fun. Is this weird? Is mumbling incoherently to a point I don’t even understand myself something to be concerned about?

I will change the words in the song that’s playing to some random, off the wall words that sound similar but only make sense to me. A lot of the time they end up being about pooping or farting. Is this odd behavior for a forty year old man?

I tell myself it’s completely normal. Then remind myself to never, ever let anyone see me doing it. You know it’s bad when you hang your head in shame because of something you did while you were completely alone.

dance-32193_640I keep it all in check when I am with family and friends, but If I am home alone and the TV show I am watching starts playing a great song I have been known to jump up and start dancing (shaking violently) in the middle of the room. This usually causes the dogs a lot of confusion. I believe they are not sure whether I am attacking or seizing. They won’t quit barking until I stop dancing and even then they still shake and growl for a while. Poor dogs having to deal with that side of me!

I just need to know I am not the only one who can embarrass themselves while by themselves. Does anyone else have to look in the mirror, roll their eyes and call themselves a complete idiot just hoping maybe it will stop? If not then neither do I. I was just making it all up. No one can prove any different.

 

So I changed my blog theme, big whoop

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blogging-336375_640I blog because I enjoy it. I enjoy feeling free to share my thoughts. I enjoy reading the thoughts that others share. I enjoy the interactions a blog post can create. Still, sometimes it can begin to fill a bit old.

It starts as I stare at the screen wanting to write but nothing comes out. I stare at the screen wanting to read but nothing seems to interest me enough. I scroll through the reader hoping for inspiration or enjoyment. Something I can write about or something I want to comment on. Minutes, then hours pass and I close the laptop.

I take a break, maybe a quick nap. I come back and open the reader again. An idea pops in and I hit the new post button. I start typing, then backspacing. I start typing again, then highlight all-delete. Why can’t I just get the words right? Why can’t I say what I want to say? Minutes pass and my blog starts staring back at me. It’s laughing at me now.

I’ve shared my thoughts so many times before so easily. The words fill the screen almost faster than I can think them. My fingers press keys and a post is born. I watch as the comments mount and the likes light up. A new reader, a new follower a first time commenter make me smile. A long time blogging buddy makes me laugh. I want this, I need this. I am an addict.

Still the box on my screen is empty. The title does not exist. I save the empty draft just to create something. My empty idea now has a place on my blog. Maybe soon I will be able to turn it into something worthy of the publish button, but only when I feel it is ready. For now it is back to the reader to see what may be new. Such an array of literary talent, such an expansive display of art.

This simple reader is a tunnel through which a new world can be displayed, the universe is open and all its stories amaze. In it anything is possible, plausible and portrayed.

I see politics, current events and a few world views. They mix with the fiction, the jokes and cartoons. I laugh at one story, then tear from another. I like a few posts and comment on a few others. Time to start thinking again about what I want to say. I log back into my blog and stare at the display. (sorry about that. I got in a sort of rhythm but I will stop now.)

I sit there a while with nothing new until finally I decide I’m tired of looking at the same screen. I pull up the appearance option and select themes. Preview this one then preview that. I believe it is time for a change again and this new theme fits. It makes me feel refreshed, a bit special.

My older post look better. My newer post will pop. I feel like writing. The words start to flow again. No deletes or backspaces, just words that come from my soul. A catchy title and it is finished. It seemed so easy again.

This happens every few months. I get a bit of a writers block and somehow, changing my theme makes me forget the block. I’m not sure if changing my look bothers or confuses readers, but it is a mechanism that helps me. Let me know what you think. I would be interested in hearing your opinion whether for or against updating the look of your blog. Maybe you want to try it yourself and see if it helps.

The Journey

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Part one: From The Matticus Kingdom who asked us to finish the following story

The night howled, sucked at the windows, and rattled fences.  Trees, arched with the onslaught, whipped and branches reached out for anything to unleash their frustration and torment on.  The wind pushed against everything, a bully on a rampage, the world its victim.

The cloud shrouded darkness ate away at the edges of the dim pools of light cast by the street lamps.  The polka dot glows shimmered in the swaying black.  They seemed resigned to their fate, destined to be swallowed and complete the end of all things, but too stubborn to wink out quickly.  Fading, little by little, the long hours of the night stretched thin.

A single door on the block creaked open, straining against the arms of the storm, and then banged shut.  The hunched man winced in anticipation of the sound even though the echoes of the escape were lost below the fury of the wind.  His strained eyes swept the scoured landscape and saw nothing but the traces of lights ominously urging him forward.

The way is here.

It is not safe.

Follow the dancing lights.

If you dare…


Now for part two, written by me.


He slowly moved forward, the wind taking its cruelty out upon him. He didn’t care.

“Have at it” he screamed into the night. “I have been locked away too long for you to stop me now.”

The lights brightened and danced a little faster. It was too much for his eyes to take. He held up his hand to block the light, looking away only for an instant. He felt the change as the lights brightened then disappeared. The howling night air became quiet. He was not alone. Something else, something much more sinister than him was close.

“You will not escape” a growling voice roared from the shadows “I will not allow it”

His eyes were burning as an unrelenting stench began to surround him. His skin tightened as he prepared for the onslaught.

“You should prepare for your end!”

As it spoke the ground shook fiercely. How could it be? The rumored spirit surrounding the dungeon, the stories were all true. He didn’t care.

“Do your worst spirit. I’m not going back.” he yelled “If death is what you bring, I’ll take it and be at peace”

Many moments passed and all was silent. There were no lights, no sounds, no smells. Everything seemed calm.

“You do not fear me?” The voice asked. It’s tone subdued, hinting at bewilderment.

He stared out into the darkness. He had no plan beyond escape, beyond freedom. Death to him seemed the ultimate freedom. He didn’t care.

“Fear has been my captor for too many years.” He replied

More silence surrounded him. The night air started whistling, circling around. He waited a long while as the night became day. The spirit had gone. Fear was it’s only weapon. He began to walk.

He was no one, with no home, no family. Life had treated him cruelly. Chewed at his soul then spit him back out into a world he didn’t know and couldn’t understand. He knew nothing of where he would go or what he would become. He didn’t care.

The journey was his alone.

 

Vanished

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69-07-july-20th-2014It was gone! Everything was just gone! The school, the playground equipment and all the children vanished into thin air. The only sign left in the otherwise barren field was a single, busted soccer ball.

The neighborhood was devastated. Parents lost, no idea what to do, where to go or who to look to. The police and the FBI were all involved, but had no answers. News crews descended onto the scene making things so much worse. The world watched, mesmerized by the event that had unfolded in this little town.

A full week passed and nothing. The field was just as empty, the families just as devastated and the authorities just as baffled. The theories varied from alien abduction to an act of god to a government conspiracy along with many more. Most didn’t make any sense, yet none of this made sense.  So many were missing, so many more affected by the loss and no one knew why.

Then today we received even more disturbing news. It has happened again! Another school in another state now vanished! What the hell is going on!


Written for this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction prompt.

Time to leave it behind

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ff85-adam-ickesShe begged and pleaded for him to leave it behind. She thought maybe, finally he would be willing to let it go.

A new home in a new city meant a new start. Still he fought, still he wouldn’t budge.

“It’s time” she told him. “It’s just not who you are anymore.”

“It could be” was his reply. “I believe I can revive it, make it better.”

“No, sweetie. The business was a failure. If you keep all those papers, the invoices, the receipts you can never move on.”

“I know, I know. You’re right. Tomorrow it will all be gone.”

“Good, and after you can mount my Ram in the den.”


Written for Friday Fictioneers photo prompt for Jul 18th, 2014.

Six months too empty…

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Six months have come and gone

You are missed more each day

The house seems so empty

Without your smiling face

The jokes are not as funny

The laughter a little less

An evening with the family

Will never be the same

Holidays not as cheerful

But the love always remains

Tears are still shed

Just a little less each day

We learn to hide the pain

Living with the empty space

Life continues to move forward

While we keep you in our hearts

Your strength has become ours

And we use It every day

Knowing you are watching

Smiling from a place high above



Today it has been six months since we lost my dad. It doesn’t seem like it could have been that long but it has. I hope he knows how much he was loved and how much he is missed. He left behind a tremendous, amazing family. I’m sure I speak for us all when I say

Love you dad. Thank you for all you did for me!

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