Many thanks to the wonderful lady, talented artist and writer, and patient friend Rochelle, for herding us cats on Friday Fictioneers. We write micro-stories (fact or fiction) to a new photo each week, provided by some very creative and imaginative compatriots. Here is my story for this week.
The outdoor social party was to welcome new arrivals to the senior center near Seattle. Bill, a newcomer, volunteered to serve special lemon-flavored ice cream.
“This is the best party. Everyone is happy to meet you, Bill,” said Marilyn, the Social Director.
Bill said, “Have some ice cream, Dear, everyone loves it.”
Back at their condo, Yolonda said, “Gawd! I can’t believe you spiked their ice cream. I hope no one finds out.”
Bill removed the bottle of lemon-flavored drops from his pocket. “A little THC never hurt anyone. We’ll need a big bus for next week’s pot shop run.”
Look both ways and share the love.
Mind the gaps and quash old fears.
“Father” Tanner, had a lovely wife, two wonderful daughters, and a future as church rector. Young, bright, athletic, and handsome; he inspired the congregation’s vibrant teen and Boy Scout groups. Eventually, he was ordained to the priesthood.
However, Tanner’s sexual relationships with teenage boys were discovered. He was defrocked, dismissed, and ordered to therapy, without legal action. Soon “cured,” he was again hired as Sexton and advisor to parish youth groups.
Thirty years, over 450 victims, and 2,500 counts of sexual assault later, Tanner was imprisoned, where at 67, he died of natural causes; shamed and disgraced, but never cured.
Look both ways.
Be alert for predators where least expected.
Never expect victims to confess.
Mind the gaps, remain skeptical, and verify if you trust.
They thought it was indestructible.
A once mighty oak.
Then one day, there it lay—
one fragile, entropic stick, atrophied
by the dominance of green fire,
enraged temperament morphed
from past passions into
mislaid trust, then to castaway love,
and finally, to the pain of the end.
Did he willingly dance away from the fire?
Did the stepping turn of his heel find and
finally crush that last unwilling, wilting twig?
Was it he or she who stood in the dark,
alone, searching for some deeper truth
without understanding? Only able
to struggle against the monster’s eye,
leaning in against injury
from false charges and
intolerable miscreant treatment.
Had they become allergic to love?
Did they both just get lazy?
Whatever cannot be, simply isn’t.
needn’t be defended against
blows from the unbridled ax of envy.
Then—it was just the inevitable end,
when even love was not enough.
First, look both ways. Then, look all around.
Finally, mind the gaps and cut your losses.
Former family homes, once
Businesses, barns, refuge
From the hot Texas sun
Or driving storms of
Wind and rain.
Suppertimes, nights of dreams,
Homework, plans to plow
Now it’s all abandoned, forgotten,
Seen but unnoticed or ignored
Peppered along the otherwise
Scenic road drives on, once dirt,
Now blacktop paved roads
Memories forgotten or
Buried in nearby family
Unloved by ungrateful
Outsiders who see
Only haunted eyesores, sadness.
A mess to be cleaned up
By the next generation.
Past lives carried into the
Graveyards of the forgotten.
Look both ways and wonder.
Who were they? What were they like? Where are they now?
Pay attention to the message and mind the gaps.
My hips, thighs, and especially calf muscles
become painful when I walk. It’s poor
blood circulation with several medical names,
thanks to my poor choices such as who
my paternal grandfather was, my dad,
and my long past smoking. But I walk anyway.
Almost every day. I like it. I’ve always
exercised. Completed a dozen marathons
after age 60, always been a bit of a gym rat.
Now I swim too. Doctors like it all better
than pills. I must endure such pain
in my battle to delay inevitable days.
They do their best. Me too. It’s okay.
I have countless privileges denied others.
Like life. I can and I must endure,
for as long as I can. I’ll keep mindful
of those less privileged who fight in fear
tougher battles than I’ll ever see.
Look both ways and see all around.
Smell, taste, touch, and hear everything.
Mind the gaps as you fill them with knowledge.
And “sing with me, sing for a year
Sing for the laughter, and sing the tear
Sing with me, if it’s just for today
Maybe tomorrow…” (Lyrics from Dream On by Aerosmith)
American men and women at war,
fighters. May I call them warriors?
For their military service
we want to thank them.
only they understand.
Only they feel it.
Requisites are hated enemies,
courage, weapons, desire for glory, fear,
comrades, pride; and a cause
to die for, one worth killing for.
They carry much.
To fear death, or not? To love
and despise simultaneously?
Is war forever part of humanity?
Are we the only creatures
that kill our own for no reason? Just to kill.
To cause death unnecessarily?
Is that combat?
Look both ways for glory and dishonor.
Mind the gaps between mind, heart, and soul.
How can it be?
They were once lovers intent on solving the riddle of forever.
Time was the mere scent of one, aroused the other
and they clung together like peach and stone.
How can it be as time passed, such love was lost?
How did what was become unthinkable?
When did the passion of love serve up malevolence?
What paradox now leaves two enigmatic lovers
with a secret neither knows?
Look both ways on the road of love.
The past is not the future. The present is not forever.
Mind the gaps for the riddle of discontent.
His first words,
“What will you get?”
With such words our brother
accounted for decades of silence.
“He can’t help it,”
I’d tell myself.
“It’s not his fault.
He was raised like that,”
I told myself.
He’s your big brother.
He should be your hero,”
I still tell myself—
Not some pitiful old man
Who’ll never understand why,
I told myself, again.
Our sister’s bequest
was that he suffer
as he caused her, but I couldn’t
let her love lapse, I told myself.
Look both ways with family and friends.
Mind the gaps, but learn to live without them.