Sick Days

On Monday, Karen woke up with a dry mouth. Her eyeballs itched a little and her head felt tight. A check of her calendar reminded her that she had a pre-work meeting scheduled with her boss, she had to call the insurance company during lunch, and it was her turn to bring snack for her daughter’s soccer team. She took two Airborne, drank an extra bottle of water and crossed her fingers.Read More »

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Lake’s Gift

Once upon a time, long before this moment, a small band of people lived together on the shores of a crystal clear lake. Lake loved her people. She let them drink of her waters and eat of her bountiful fishes. She used her great mass to protect them from the volatile moods of her brother, Weather.

In return, the people loved their Lake. They gave thanks for her generosity and in return they worked for her, keeping her waters fresh and clean. For many generations, Lake and the people took care of one another. For season after season, Lake sparkled like a mirror and gifted the people with the food and water they needed to survive.Read More »

Agnes and the Thorn of Prophecy

Agnes thought she was gardening. She had no idea she was, in fact, entangling herself in a capital P Prophecy. The only entanglement she was thinking about was the patch of wild roses that refused to respect her carefully maintained borders. So when she pricked herself on a particularly aggressive thorn, she just stuck her thumb in her mouth for a second and went on clipping at errant vines.

She didn’t notice the man in the tall pointy hat and flowing purple robes until he cleared his throat in a rather put-upon way.Read More »

The Interview

“So, you have a lovely voice and you’re easy to listen to,” he said, leaning in close enough for her to smell the onions on his breath, “but you say ‘umm’ and awful lot.”

She sat up even straighter and nodded, arranging her face into the most innocuous expression she could manage.

“Thank you for that feedback. I’m always interested in improving myself.”Read More »

Planning for the Future

“Sir, the results from the latest survey have come in.”

“And? Don’t leave me wondering, Jones. Is it working?”

“It would appear so, sir. Even taking our margin of error into account, it’s clear the numbers are up.” Jones glanced at the report before continuing, “Twenty-one percent of the middle grade students questioned state they wish to travel to space to become a star. That’s up from sixteen percent last time.”Read More »

The Opposite of Lonely

From the outside, where her family and friends sat on stiff chairs and watched her breathe to the mechanical rhythm of the equipment keeping her alive, Michelle looked still and lonely. They mourned the freedom she lost when she stepped off the curb into the path of an unsuspecting taxi.Read More »

Feral

“Good lord, you’re filthy!” Mama cried. She swatted at me with a dish towel and ordered me out of her clean kitchen. As I raced up the stairs toward the shower, she shouted after me, “I’ve raised feral children!”

The laughter in her voice belied her disapproval. Mama loved it when we played in the dirt. Yes, we were feral, but we hadn’t gotten that way by accident.

*4/7/18 prompt: from head to toes

I know many amazing parents whose children are intentionally and delightfully covered in dirt from top to bottom as often as possible. This 5-minute prompt was written with them in mind.