Spiralling

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is LIKE A CIRCLE IN A SPIRAL.

ksenia-k-5ClvdUR-AEU-unsplashI suppose almost every spiral has a circle at its base, like the one in this image posted by KseniaK on Unsplash. But my mind went to another circle: that vice at the bottom of the downward spiral people sometimes find themselves in. Whatever the addiction that entices, when it takes hold, it tries to suck us down.

So here’s my verse, only lightly polished, as my response to today’s prompt:

THE SPIRAL

that first circle
a few young teens giggling
sipping into somebody’s
daddy’s stash of bottles

another whirl, the parties
everybody drinks at them
the high school dances
quick sips in quiet corners
circles spinning her round

somehow, sometime
the bottle reached out
grabbed her by the throat
and wouldn’t let go
fun turned to pain
and the spiral started
pulling her down its dark path

half-sober, she dimly recalls
those coins she once had,
the people she wanted to love
yes, she grabbed for them
wanting desperately to hold on
but one by one they rolled
lost among the empties
the spiral drew her down

the husband who didn’t stay
washed away in the foam,
her children, their eyes round
as they watched their mother
stagger across the house
then downcast, ashamed
when their friends saw her too
they left as soon as they could
and her life was full of empties,
so many circles in her spiral

she sheds a few tears
there in the dark stairway
when she’s sober enough
to remember what she once had
how much those clanking circles
cost as they bottled her

she needs another drink
the blinking neon beckons
across the road she stumbles
not seeing the bright lights
round eyes bearing down
a squeal, and the world spins
the pavement so bruising
perplexingly rises to face her

sirens pierce the night
scream through her brain
colored lights flash
bouncing off the pavement
hurting her eyes – such pain!
gravelly voices rock her mind:
Ma’am? Ma’am can you hear me?
the steady circling, circling
of those flashing lights
wailing, wailing
– or is that her?

Rowing With The Flow

Crispina has issued her latest creative writing challenge: CCC #81

“Every Wednesday I post a photo (this week it’s that one above.)
You respond with something CREATIVE.”
To see the rules and get the image, CLICK HERE.
And here’s the photo that will inspire us this week:

And here’s my response:

ROWING WITH THE FLOW

“Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream…”

“Oh, Mom. You always come up with those silly little songs. No matter what you see, you have to sing about it.”

“That’s because I’m so old. I’ve heard many songs in my life. It’s all about triggers, my girl. When you get to be my age, you’ll understand.”

Melissa rolled her eyes.

“Actually, I wish we were rowing down this stream instead of walking beside it. Wouldn’t that be lovely?”

“Yeah. Let’s rent a paddle-boat and do it sometime. I’d go for an espresso right now, though…and there’s a Coffee Kicks two blocks ahead.” Melissa pointed, then sang the latest Coffee Kicks jingle.

Mom chuckled.

Realizing what she’d done, Melissa wailed, “Oh, no – it’s happening already! I’m becoming just like my mother.”

“And your grandma. Where do you think I got it from?”

Melissa sighed. “I’m doomed.”

Sunday Whirl: A Hint of Fear

Good morning everyone!

On Sunday I came across another writing challenge offered by host blogger Brenda Warren, called The Sunday Whirl. Here’s the banner:

And here’s the word list for Wordle #457:

I took the given words and wrote the story on Sunday already, just haven’t gotten around to posting it. The above words, in various forms, mostly appear in the first few paragraphs. The second part  I wrote just because I do like a good story. 🙂

A HINT OF FEAR

Larissa had won a scholarship to this college and she wasn’t going to waste it. She concentrated on her studies, foregoing holidays, declining invites to weekend parties. She even limited her trips back home so she could study.

Her diligence paid off in spades. When the marks were handed back after the last set of exams, she had to look twice. But it was true: she’d aced the exams. She was going to graduate with honors. She plowed her fist into the air and did a little pirouette.

She resisted the urge to dance around the room. Instead she thanked her professors and headed home where she could do all the singing and dancing she wanted to. Ah, but first a stop at Dairy Delightful, where she indulged in a delicious hot fudge sundae with whipped cream. This might inflate her waistline a bit, but she’d take a long jog tomorrow.

“Fly me to the moon and let me play among the stars,” she sang as she slid the key in the lock on her apartment door. She opened the door partway when the strangest feeling hit her. Something felt very wrong, like someone was here. The odd sense of danger made her skin prickle.

She shook it off as imagination and stepped into the apartment, but that feeling of apprehension kept her from closing the door. Made her sigh a prayer. “God, if there’s really something wrong here, show me somehow.”

Though her eye saw nothing unusual, she did pick up a slight difference in the air. Had she left a window open? “Once I get a good-paying job I’m moving up in the world,” she promised herself. “Tenth floor at least.”

She straightened her spine and told herself firmly, “There is nothing wrong. I am not going to give in to some silly fear and let it spoil this beautiful day.”

But as she entered the room, the slight air movement brought to her a hint of stale tobacco. She didn’t smoke and neither had anyone else when they visited her. Acting on impulse she backed out of the room, shut the door, and locked it. Then she called her cousin Matt, grateful that she had his number on speed dial.

Handy having a cop in the family. So what if he’d find nothing amiss and tease her about being a chicken or needle her about her good imagination. She wasn’t taking any chances. Not like that girl in the news last week.

On second thought, Matt probably wouldn’t laugh.

Still Learning…

This is the book of verses I published a year ago;
at present it’s only available as an e-book, but I hope to do a print version soon.
Meanwhile, I’m learning how to set up an Amazon book “block”

Though Christmas is long past, I read this book last month and thought it was terrific. One of those home and family feel-good stories about a widow who learns to accept the unusual when a stray pooch, a grouchy neighbor and a run-away granddaughter show up on her property. The routine of her life and her current plans are blown to pieces and she finds something far better.
The URL I’ve embedded in this block is for Amazon.com.

A Scintillating Discussion

The Ragtag Daily Prompt for today is PEDANTIC
The Jibber Jabber Daily word is LUCK

GETTING TO KNOW HIM

Pierce, relaxing on the sofa, looked over at his sister who was studying some paper. “Whatcha readin’, Lilly?”

“Something I just downloaded — this is some expert’s advice on how to get to know people better.”

“You really want to?”

“Of course. We should take an interest in other people or we’ll become totally self-centered.” She looked at him pointedly.

“Yeah, right. And I suppose you gotta ask all kinds of nosy questions, like, ‘Did you love your mother?’ Good luck with that.” Pierce popped the tab on his soft drink and took a swig.

“Well, this expert has given readers a list of questions that ‘should stimulate an intelligent discussion.’ Like this one. ‘Would you call yourself a pedantic person?’ How would you answer that one, Pierce.”

“Yes. No. Maybe. Dumb question.”

Lilly rolled her eyes. “This discussion hasn’t reached ‘intelligent’ yet.”

“Define pedantic.”

Lilly typed the word into her cell phone and read the definition. “Pedantic: ‘excessively concerned with minor details or rules; over-scrupulous, persnickety.’ I guess it means someone who sweats the small stuff and gets the fine details right.”

“I’m not much into fine details.” He guzzled more pop.

“You can say that again. Your room’s a tornado aftermath.”

“I can find things,” he protested. “But sometimes I do sweat the small stuff — like on a math exam. So it depends.”

Lilly sighed. “According to this expert, a question like this should lead to a scintillating conversation.”

“Define scintillating.”

“You’re being pedantic.”

Pierce shrugged. “Who cares?”

Bert & Harv Reminisce

Crispina has posted another weekly challenge HERE

Everyone’s welcome to join in the fun. Here’s how it works:
Every Wednesday I post a photo. You respond with something CREATIVE
Here are some suggestions:

  • An answering photo
  • A cartoon
  • A joke
  • A caption
  • An anecdote
  • A short story (flash fiction)
  • A poem
  • A newly minted proverb, adage or saying
  • An essay
  • A song—the lyrics or the performance

You have plenty of scope and only two criteria:

  • Your creative offering is indeed yours
  • Your writing is kept to 150 words or less

Once you have your response posted, visit her blog and do a PINGBACK, or leave the URL of your response post in her comment box.

Here’s this week’s photo:

And here is my response, 150 words on the dot.

BERT & HARV REMINISCE

“Look at that, Harv. What’s it gonna be when it’s done?”

“Maybe it is done? Some kind of modern art?”

Bert scowled. “More’n likely. Folks nowadays know nothin’ about art. When we were young you could look at pictures and know what you were seeing. Today it’s all splash-dab and heaven knows.”

“Maybe it’ll be one of them water slides?”

“Maybe. Fool kids apt to kill themselves gettin’ up that high. Nowadays they need crazy thrills to keep ’em happy. When we were young, Harv, it was fun enough to…”

“And see those flimsy supports holding that tube. Any weight on them and down the thing’ll come.”

“For sure. Nowadays they don’t know how to build anything solid. Watched my grandson put up drywall one day. When I was young, builders tested plaster with a hammer. You take a hammer to today’s flimsy stuff…”

“Let’s get us some tea, Bert.”