Domestic Storm

sudden thunder
dad’s anger a dark cloud
lightning sears my ear

My Dad was from the old school, such as you read of in Oliver Twist, where boxing a child’s ears was meant to improve hearing and slapping them on the head would “smarten them up” or “knock some sense into them.” And you didn’t always get any forewarning, either. First the smack, then the explanation of why.

My mom-in-law talked of one of her brothers who suffered lifelong hearing damage because teachers regularly boxed pupils’ ears. I don’t think children should go undisciplined, but I’m glad those days are gone.

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning: LIGHTNING

I’ll confess, I’ve often spelled the LIGHTNING that zips across the sky like the LIGHTENING that the sky does at dawn. Which isn’t so far wrong, because lightning does lighten the sky. But now I’ve looked it up and I see that one definition of lighten is to give out flashes of lightning. So I’m not too far out.

Searching through my Dropbox to see what I might have as a response to today’s prompt, I came across a file of a dozen or so need-to-be-polished haiku verses, including the one above. So I’ll polish and post a few more.

A Closet of Memories

Another Friday Fictioneers prompt has come. This group is graciously hosted by the longsuffering Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, who blogs at Addicted to Purple. Check her blog for information about how to become part of this group and respond to the prompts. Our photo prompt has been donated by Kelvin Knight. Bear in mind that this is his photo and must not be used for any other purpose without his permission.

I looked at the prompt this morning and thought, “This is great!” No murder and mayhem in this photo; it should generate some really homey, upbeat stories. So what delicious aspect can I write about in connection with home-made bread?

Sad to say, the story that popped into my mind a moment later is one I didn’t want to write. I hate going to places like this but I feel this is the one I should tell. Genre for this one is contemporary fiction, based on a true account of a young woman’s loathing for white bread and how she discovered the reason behind her disgust.

I’ve had a few similar experiences where I felt an intense fear or negative reaction to something for years until I finally asked God, “Why?” And got a clear answer. I believe many children experience things that leave them with a closet full of dark memories. It’s so awesome, then, when you finally open that door, the skeleton inside gives one last rattle and disintegrates. The place is swept clean, the dust swirls away and you’re so glad to be rid of the mess that you feel like dancing.

So here’s my tale:

PHOTO © Kelvin M. Knight

Memories Locked Away

Pam stares at the slice Tim decorated. A wave of nausea chokes her. That heart! He doesn’t realize…

It’s just bread. Get a grip! But she barely makes it to the toilet. Chucking her breakfast, she wails, “Why, God?”

Memories click into focus. Mom never home. No food. Older brother, bread in hand, luring her…she was so hungry! Ugly stains on the bedroom ceiling…waves of shame and disgust. The bread her reward.

Then a gentle voice says, “These memories you’ve locked away, I’ll take them now.”

Waves of freedom overwhelm her. Her spirit dances like a sailboat in light breeze.