The Reality of Pirates

Time again for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers.  So grateful to PJ for hosting this weekly challenge. This week’s photo prompt is provided by BarbCT/Gallimaufry.  Please follow little froggie for more stories.

Here is the photograph and a memory:

The Reality of Pirates

When I first saw this photograph, I thought about living 50 years in New Orleans – right on the Mississippi River. I thought of what an honorable profession it is to be a tug boat pilot. I thought of all sorts of stories I could write but…

Nothing held a candle to reality.  Being a Girl Scout during the turbulent 1960’s. Pitching our pup tents and sitting around the campfire singing:

This is a great rendition of that song, and thanks PJ and BarbCT for bringing back this memory.

Stuff like this, ya know?….lead me to me.

Ellespeth 

A Two-Step For My Baby – Flash Fiction

Time again for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers.  So grateful to PJ for hosting this weekly challenge. This week’s photo prompt is provided by Elaine Farrington Johnson. 

Here’s the photograph and my story.  Please follow lil froggy for more stories.

A Two-Step For My Baby

So many attended me, but I didn’t speak for days. People all around the room were speaking. Speaking to me. Touching me. Smiling sadly at me. Sometimes they spoke to each other. It didn’t matter though. Words seemed meaningless. An echo never-ending.

I’d drawn the shades against the light until one bright dawn seared its way into my life. That morning, in the chapel, there were whispered prayers for love and forgiveness. Vigil candles flickered beneath the statue of St. Agnes.

I knew my baby had been like a little lamb that night. Kicking up a two-step. Perhaps she was a sacrifice, but to what?

Ellespeth

My Mother…

My mother has passed. She was 89 years old. I believe that the most important thing she ever did for me was to introduce me, before my teen years, to the poetry of Edna St. Vincent Millay. I spent a few years imitating Millay – writing poems of death and betrayal and self-judgement. My mother is also the character Sissy in my Sissy and Buck/Buck and Sissy flash fiction.

Since I’m unable to travel, I’ve asked my youngest sister to read this for me at my mother’s funeral.

The Courage That My Mother Had (by Edna St Vincent Millay)

The courage that my mother had
Went with her, and is with her still:
Rock from New England quarried;
Now granite in a granite hill.

The golden brooch my mother wore
She left behind for me to wear;
I have no thing I treasure more:
Yet, it is something I could spare.

Oh, if instead she’d left to me
The thing she took into the grave!-
That courage like a rock, which she
Has no more need of, and I have.

by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Ellespeth

Over A Vanilla Latte – A Flash Piece

Time again for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers.  So grateful to PJ for hosting this weekly challenge. This week’s photo prompt is provided by artycaptures.wordpress.com. Thank you artycaptures!

Here’s the photograph and my story.  Please follow lil froggy for more stories.

Over A Vanilla Latte – A Flash Piece

Iris approaches Edith at the cafe.   “What are you doing?”

“I’m trying to make a swastika sign,” Edith replies.  She’s making shadow figures on her napkin.

“A what?”

“A swastika sign,”  Edith repeats.

“What in the world?”

“There’s a neo- Nazi group in our city.  I want to know what the sign looks like.  In case, you know, I see someone giving it on the streets.”  Edith takes a sip of  latte.

Iris gives Edith a questioning look.

“It’s not like I’m going to turn them in,”  Edith explains.  “Just never hurts to know who your neighbors are.”

“Come on, Edith.  We don’t have those sorts living here.”

“Well.  I hate to break the news to you,”   Edith holds out the paper and points to the morning’s headlines.”

“NEO- NAZI GROUP  TO RALLY ON TOWN SQUARE”

They drink Vanilla Latte.    Edith reads the article aloud.

Ellespeth

(143 w/c)

Those Ultimate Memories – Fiction

Time again for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers.  So grateful to PJ for hosting this weekly challenge. This week’s photo prompt is provided by Jade M. Wong. Thank you Jade!

Here’s the photograph and my story.  Please follow lil froggy for more stories.

Those Ultimate Memories


It’s my sister’s funeral. Attendants are gazing at a bloody eternity statue , and I remember:

1984
In the car with my sister, niece, and nephew. We pull up to a drugstore. My niece announces she’s going to purchase tampons.

I’m wondering what to say to my nephew when he says, “Hopefully she gets them soon, otherwise BLOOD EVERYWHERE!”  He’s 12.

1986
“Why are you crying?” my sister asks my nephew when we pick him up after school.

“I don’t want to kiss girls,” he says. “When we watched the film at school today, boys were kissing girls.”

I cast a waiting glance to my sister who says, “You don’t have to kiss girls now.” She strokes his hair.

1990
I rush to my sister’s house. She’s called me hysterically. When I arrive, she’s hauling a mattress out her front door.

“So what’s up?” I ask.

“Can you believe I caught my son screwing some girl in my house?” she gives the mattress an angry kick.

“And you’re tossing the mattress because?”

“Because it was still in my house!”

Ellespeth

w/c 178

A Some Sorta Jazzy Flow Entry

Let’s get the update on my recovery out of the way first:
I’m now on my own as far as my right arm and hand are concerned. No more physical therapy for that part of my body. There’s a metal plate in my lower arm, between my wrist and my elbow. It’s still stiff around there, but getting better. I’m able to type for longer periods of time. I can sign my name and write short lists.

Holding onto the railing with both hands, I can walk up 7 steps like a normal person does – almost – and walk back down again. Holding onto the railing with one hand and one finger of the other hand, I can walk backwards up two steps and back down again forwards. I can walk about two blocks twice a day. I cycle on the stationary bike for 15 minutes a day a 5 tension. That’s pretty exciting for me. A corner turned.

I feel more hopeful, but still depressed. My insomnia has worsened. I’ve dealt with both of these issues for years. I know that the sudden life change from being totally active to being in a nursing home and then home still recovering 6 months after a fall has a lot to do with both of these issues resurfacing  Knowing doesn’t help, of course, but it’s good to know.

I’ve decided to keep a handwritten diary. I’ve fancied up the page edges of a Moleskine notebook with brightly colored scrap-book tape…it looks more inviting that way. It’s not going to be some teenaged angst sort of diary…just a recording of the day. Any angst I have going on is certainly released in my poetry and fiction.  Short, brief entries.  (good exercise)

Hmmm…my poetry and fiction – that part of me has suffered most of all in all of this. It’s difficult for my imagination to kick in when all the rest of me is so focused on recovering. So a handwritten diary might help slow me down and reconnect me to what I see beyond me.

Until later,
Ellespeth  ♥