And He answered and said unto them, "I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out."

Monday, September 14, 2015

Sunday Scribblings 2 - Prompt 89

Waiting for 53A North

In late summer and early fall, grit would sting the skin and hurt the eyes because the rains had not restarted. The advantage was the dry air was comfortable in the night air. The disadvantage was the gray and the beige blowing dusty clouds in the street. Smoke from the generators covered the rest of the blocks in monotony. Still, better than the black speckles of mold on most exposed surfaces come autumnal solstice. And no one remembered green on the outside; plants were relegated to indoor shopping centers and the Fabulous Tower Center in the city where the wealthy lived in health.

Prynne trudged the hardened ground, careful to avoid the rubble on either side. Rats lived there and would be hungry until the water came. Her boots went high to her knees but she covered them with her wide pants and tied them at the bottom. It was more protection from the rats and the roaches which scavenged on the floor of the transport. Her daughter was lucky to have leggings handed down from a neighbor's cousin. They were tough but light weight and they were long enough to stuff into her brother's old boots. Prynne worried about the holes in the soles but some cardboard and a lot of duct tape would be enough protection for the time being.

"Mama, I'm thirsty." Pearl covered her mouth with her scarf and turned her face against the wind.

"Watch your step and stay on the sidewalk. You don't want to upset those rocks. Who knows what's watching us." Prynne stumbled and caught her step with the broad sword xw. The smithy at the mall would sharpen the tip when she got there but it bothered her that she used it for something other than defense.

"Mrs. Buchanan put out her pretty flower pots. See, Mama? They're dark blue and black on the top. They're pretty but not as pretty as those red ones from last year. I liked those. It made her house look cheerful. Mama, a rat, right there."

Prynne whirled around and used the blade to hurl a small stone at a snout and whisker. The animal glared red eyes and scampered back in the shadow of broken cement shards.

"Nice shot." The girl adjusted her cap. "Mama?"

"Yes, Pearl."

"Can we get something to drink when we get to the smithy? I'm so thirsty."

"Pearl, let's concentrate on getting to the stop. I don't want the transport to miss us. Watch your step there."

"The transport is always late and we are always early." Pearl stopped as a particularly strong gust threatened to knock her over. Her mother grabbed her hand and held her steady.

"Better that than missing our ride altogether. That would be bad for us today." Prynne looked at the sky. The main sun was almost overhead. "Second sun is ready to rise so the transport will be here shortly."

They stopped roadside across from the area generator. Gray and white plumes tugged from several side. Two workers stood by a metal barrel and seemed to struggle to open the cover. Once they pried and twisted it off, they pushed the barrel over. Liquid rushed out in a black wave on the parched dirt. They looked at Prynne and Pearl in a quiet, windless pause.

"I wonder what that--"

"Hush, child. Lower your voice," Prynne hissed. "We want no trouble today. Remember we talked about this?" She looked at her daughter and stood straight with a firm hand on the grip of her sword. The metal lid clanged on the barrel as they carried it all away, the liquid still shining in the sun.

The wind pause made Prynne even more alert. Every creak of metal, every crumble of rock and stone, every scamper and hidden squeak could be heard all around. She could make out hushed conversations from the tent block a quarter mile away. Pearl squeezed her hand and looked straight, just like she had been told.

To look around was to show fear. To look straight and listen with all your heart was bushido

As the wind pause ended when second sun rose to the south and east. Wind gusts muffled the sound of the transport, which grew louder behind them. It was harder to listen in the wind but also safer to talk.

"I brought the coins that I have saved, Mama." Pearl loosened her grip.

"What will you buy for yourself, child?" Prynne checked the strap of her coat as her hood blew in the air.

"Colored chalk. I would like to have coins for beautiful pottery like the Buchanans, but that's ok. The cluster gangs come and break them anyway so they don't last. But colored chalk would work. I will draw on the slab in back of our tent. It's flattened and wide and only a little taller than you, Mama. I'll draw and it will rain and I will draw something else. I remember the stories about rainbows so I know that there are other outside colors. Just not here. I would like to see other colors outside, Mama. It'll be pretty." Pearl looked up at her mother. Prynne could tell by the shape of her eyes that she was smiling.

The transport turned around in front of them. Steam spewed out of the tail pipes and the door opened. The cyborg driver turned its head and made a garbled speech about welcoming them aboard 53A North to the city.

"Come along, little artist. We will get your chalk after we stop at the water cafe."

Pearl let go of her mother's hand to grab the handle bars. The steps were large and steep. She stomped on a roach with a sigh of triumph. Prynne dropped her tokens in the fare box before the transport doors closed behind them.

Copyright 2015 by C. Deanne
All Rights Reserved

For more creative stories, please visit Sunday Scribblings 2.
This beautiful watercolor print was created by ThaiThanh. Please reward yourself
and visit his online portfolio here. I found his work imaginative and inspiring.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Prompted to Write 4/27/15

foliis intraverunt duo folia

She hated to have to use it but Avon Bug Guard worked and with no Deet, she could crash in her tent at the end of the day without worrying. The last thing Mary wanted to do was to wash off bug spray, get under mosquito netting and worry about getting eaten alive by the little flying friends that were in there with her.

The waterproof boots were indeed not waterproof. Perhaps they were water resistant but her socks were soggy every single morning. A mile in soggy socks should seem trivial but for once she just wanted one dry spot on her body. What a luxury that would be. Next time should would not skimp on her supplies.

Q'pxit motioned at pointed up without a sound. She took her binoculars and looked up the canopy. She shook her head. He understood, a little frustrated, but he looked around. He pulled several leaves together to show her:

Two short leaves
2 long leaves
attached to a stick

A stick. Maybe he meant a branch. Q'pxit pointed again to the large branch above them. There were long nets of fig vines, draped lazily above them. She wiped her sweaty hands and used the binoculars again. It took her a moment but there it was, towards the trunk, on the right, just attached to the vines. Her breath caught in her throat as she found her camera. She wiped her hands again, this time from adenalin. She aimed her camera, searching frantically for the plant, when her phone went off.

She recognized her daughter's cell phone id. She hadn't heard from her in months.

"Hello? Jenna?" There was a pause. "Yes? What? What's wrong?"

Mary listened for a few moments then hung up the phone. She took a deep breath and took up her camera again. Q'pxit touched her shoulder and urged her to come his way. She cocked her head, not knowing what he meant. When she pointed her camera back up to the canopy, the jaguar leisurely lay on the branch, near the trunk. Its tail flipped once before it lay down its head.

The team never knew what happened. The next morning she was gone. The villagers said they saw her early, near dawn. It did not make sense because she left everything. All they knew was that one of their boats was gone and that she left no note. It would be up to Burly to find the plant to cure breast cancer.


Mary paid the cab and walked up to her back door. She knocked because she had left her key with her things in a South American jungle.

"Mom? What are you doing home?" Jenna opened the door and walked up the back steps to the kitchen. There were dirty dishes every where, the floor hadn't been cleaned in months and the dog's ribs were showing.

"You were crying. You said it was important." Mary looked down at the overflowing recycling bin. Was that paper from a month ago?

"Oh. Yeah. I'm sorry about that. But since you're here, can you give me some money? I need to go downtown to an audition."

"I haven't seen you in months. I haven't had a decent shower since I left." Mary took out her passport from her shirt and dropped it on the table.

"I know. But this is the last day of auditions."

"Jenna." Anger welled up from her the bottom of her soggy socks. "It took me hours to get out of the jungle. I waited a couple of days to get a plane to take me to Bolivia and then I flew hours to get here. And you are worried about your audition?"

"Well, yeah. It's important."

Copyright 2015
by C. Deanne
All Rights Reserved

Monday, June 8, 2015

Sunday Scribbling 2 # 75

Thirty Two Minutes to Washtenaw


That meant she had forty two minutes until 3 o'clock, which meant she had thirty two minutes to get to Washtenaw Avenue across from the school. There was no time to lose because she had to go to the orthodontist, then home for dinner and some homework, then Cub Scouts.

It was nice that her youngest, a preschooler, was potty trained and now in preschool. That meant she had a whole glorious two and a half hours all to herself, which meant by herself. Today she spoiled herself. She would not dare tell her mother-in-law who looked down her nose on her messy house.

"When the kids sleep, you clean."

Today, when the kids were in school, she took a nap.

She had a few minutes before she had to strap rockets on her roller skates and plunge into the third part of her day. Normally she went to the thrift store for clothes. It was a Tuesday, which was blue ticket day, so all blue ticket items were half off. She did not have long to wade through the racks of shirt or the racks of jeans. She had already wasted five precious minutes looking down her nose at the used shoes. There were some things that were not worth it.

The store was large and the floors were dirty gray white. She wondered how hard it would be to clean them so that they looked decent. Then she looked around at the people in the check out line. Then she looked down on her well worn gym shoes. Maybe the floor was decent enough.

Not that she needed anything but something always drew her to the back of the store to the rickrack section. Once she found depression glass but suspected that it was a later piece made in the '50s. It did not matter because it was all about the hunt. She looked closely and trained herself to find the gold in the old.

Instead, she saw a lot of nothing. Coffee mugs from various businesses. Fluted champagne glasses from Prom 1984; people would have a stroke if students were given that nowadays. A Corning Ware lid. A chipped orange pyrex. Small plates of various patterns and manufacturers. Crazed, antique stoneware that had no use in her home. None of these breakable had any practical use in her home, save the Corning Ware lid, which she took. She looked at the ceramic vases, the old glass vases from the 1980s, a couple of etched drinking glasses from Eureka Plastics 1993 Anniversary, with balloons and confetti swirled around the middle.

She felt especially bad when she saw the mugs, the plates and the glass ware from businesses. How many were still around? Who was careful to pick them out and order them? Who took theirs home, had them on a shelf somewhere and then gave it to Salvation Army to repurpose? How do you repurpose something like that? It was already marked.

Maybe that was it. The purpose was clear. It was meant for a specific time or a specific place and labeled for everyone to see. She opened her purse to fish around for her cell phone. She pushed through her wallet, a receipt from the grocery store, a bag of emergency crayons, a pen cap and finally her phone. She had 15 minutes and her cell phone battery was on 10%.

There was a time when that phone was charged, the calendar was used and synced with other co-workers. There was a time when she combed her hair, took a shower every morning, wore nice clothes that looked nice on her. There was a time when she went out after work, not for drinks, but for a leisurely cup. A quiet moment all to herself before she had to rush to the train.

As she turned the corner to head to the register, she saw them. Paisley. Roses. Delicate handles with a little chip in the porcelain. Saucers mismatched. Tomorrow after school there were no appointments, no softball practice, no dance practice and no train. Tomorrow she would put on the kettle and serve a leisurely cup. A quiet moment with little hands who would see pretty teacups and no chips at all.

Copyright 2015
by C. Deanne
All Rights Reserved

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Magpie Tales # 272

Photo by Toni Frissell

With My Final Breath

I stood for what seems hours, alone in our bedroom. The afternoon sun grazed my foot, then my toes, and disappeared across the floor towards dusk. I did not notice and only remembered it when I stepped into the water. I forgot to turn off my alarm. It will go off at 5:45am, just as it does every morning. Not that it will matter. No one will be there to turn it off.

I changed into my night gown. I had to remove the tags. I bought it for a little change of pace. For months I had been using a practical pair of pajamas and was warm and cozy. Jack lay next to me then. All was right with the world.

Our anniversary is on Tuesday. The steaks are in the refrigerator and they weren't cheap. It's a shame that they will rot. They will not be used. They will be be neglected. Only I know that they are even there. It was supposed to be a surprise. I'm leaving you. I don't love you anymore.


You would think that there is silence when you do not talk, when you do not hear another human being saying anything to you because there are no other human beings around you. Television and the internet do not count. They are merely numbers, 00 and 01, sequential and unfeeling. The new Kitchen Maid oven and your friend's sister's pictures of their graduation are not human beings. It's news or sales, not a hug or hand to hold.

I could hear my foot steps on the bare floor. And the breeze as I walked past the door to our bedroom. No. My bedroom. I made sure the burners were off. The faucet was shut. The refrigerator doors were closed. I liked that refrigerator. It was stainless steel. Just the one I wanted. I did not bother to lock the sliding doors to the deck. I did close them, though. I wouldn't want the sand to blow into the house. The wind was still for nightfall tonight. It only whispered through my hair instead of blowing heartily and happy as a sailor at sea. Even this betrayed me.

Our neighbors were not out. It was just another sign that I could walk to the shore line unencumbered by questions or voices. The sea greeted me with loving plashes and the foaming comforts of the waves, rushing in and out in a reliable rhythm. She didn't let me down; the ocean was still my friend.

I waded in. The water was still warm from a sunny day that held such promise. I lay myself down and the waters shut out the noise of the surf. Gently, tenderly, I felt embraced as I floated. The sky was not set. The waves were not yet harsh.

I breathed the cloudless blue sky and let my arms float to my side . They sunk down but there was no safety net, no rocks to clutch: only the bottomless water of the unknown. Like our first moments of marital promise, I floated towards a new beginning and left the old life behind.

From this day forward, Jack. In sickness and in health. I will love you always. With my final breath.

Copyright 2015
By C. Deanne
All Rights Reserved

Saturday, February 1, 2014

St. Brigid's Poetry Tour 2014

Here is my small contribution. One of my favorites.


We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.

With wonderful deathless ditties
We build up the world's great cities,
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire's glory:
One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And three with a new song's measure
Can trample an empire down.

We, in the ages lying
In the buried past of the earth,
Built Nineveh with our sighing,
And Babel itself with our mirth;
And o'erthrew them with prophesying
To the old of the new world's worth;
For each age is a dream that is dying,
Or one that is coming to birth. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Theme Thursday 010214

This weeks new theme is ONE!
One down and 364 more to go as of Thursday. 
Wow does it seem as if a whole year has gone on by? 
What do you say, does it feel that way to you? How did you celebrate the New Year?
Please come back on Thursday and let us know how you feel about ONE.
Do you like two better, or three or four? Are you okay with ONE? See you on Thursday!


On the second day of the year I did a little of everything around the house. I dropped my son off at a friend's house. I hope and pray it went ok. I had to force my children into doing chores and they found out that there are other parents who are doing the same thing with their children.

I suppose I am starting things off very different from last year. We have cleaned off the table so we will be eating at the table together for the first time in years. Depression is a powerful enemy of anything good and productive. I let depression run my life. I'm trying to take it back because I'm tired of this arrangement.

I'm also working on losing weight. Again. This time I think I have some tools that will help me. I am using Sparkpeople to track what I do and what I eat. We'll see if it works. I am hopeful that it will this time. We have 2 Ipods now so between the computer and the two of them, it should help.

The biggest thing that I will work on is having people over. My house is not set up to have anyone over except our immediate family. That has worked out okay but I am feeling the need to branch out. I have begged my husband and my kids to clean out the basement. 15 minutes a day or so. No one is doing it. We are stuck and I don't know what to do. I am sure that I am resourceful enough to figure something out.

It has always been hard to pick just one thing so this year I won't. There are several and it involves other people other than just the one of me.

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