Friday Fictioneers: A Light In The Window

Unfortunately, I had surgery last week and was not able to get to as many stories as I would have liked. I apologize if you read mine, and I didn’t return the favor. I’ll try to do better this week! As always, a giant thank you to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for her weekly dedication. This week’s photo prompt comes from Dale Rogerson. My story is a reflection of the current epidemic, completely avoidable with modern medicine. It’s easy to forget that measles once killed a million people a year. As always I welcome honest, constructive feedback.

winter-street-dale

A Light In The Window

Shivering, Trina held her hands before dying embers; the heat barely warmed her icy fingers. She blew the ash in hopes of stoking a flame.

Her brothers and parents were long gone, but she could still see her mother’s tears as Father led her away––

“Come dear, there is nothing else we can do. The measles; we must leave here.”

“Hey Joe! Look at the top floors of the Hubbard building; do you see that light?”

“Don’t be silly; it’s been abandoned for a hundred-and-fifty years! It’s just lights off the snow.”

“Don’t leave me!” Trina cried, year after year.

(Exactly 100 words)

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GIPYKAPOW! Have you stopped by Tales From the Motherland Facebook page to spread some fairy dust? I’m grateful for each Like. Follow me on Twitter, LeBron James does (for real… well, he did. But he may have dropped me recently)! Most importantly, if you like a post I’ve written, hit Like and leave a comment. Honest, constructive feedback is always appreciated. Click Follow; you’ll get each new post delivered by email,  no spam.

©2011-2019  All content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, I’m grateful, but please give proper credit and Link back to my work; plagiarism sucks!

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Friday Fictioneers: A Solitary Woman

Thanks for your incredible commitment Rochelle Wisoff-Fields! This week’s photo is provided by  Roger Bultot. Despite this beautiful, atmospheric photo, I was stuck this week. I’ve used a brief portion of a short story I’ve been working on. It fit the scene. Honest, constructive feedback is always welcome.

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© Roger Bultot

 

A Solitary Woman

 

The woman stirred her coffee and gazed out the window at her garden.

“I should have cut back those irises weeks ago,” she said to no one.

Her dog glanced in her direction, ready and waiting. When she spoke to the window, he stayed put.

“I can’t believe it’s the end of October already…

Where have the weeks gone?

Hmm, Roosh, old boy!”

This was the cue: her gaze moving to him; her voice sliding up three octaves. The black lab mix got to his feet, tail wagging –– thump, thump, thump­–– and came over to nuzzle her hand.

(98 words)

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GIPYKAPOW! Have you stopped by Tales From the Motherland Facebook page to spread some fairy dust? I’m grateful for each Like. Follow me on Twitter, LeBron James does (for real… well, he did. But he may have dropped me recently)! Most importantly, if you like a post I’ve written, hit Like and leave a comment. Honest, constructive feedback is always appreciated. Click Follow; you’ll get each new post delivered by email,  no spam.

©2011-2019  All content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, I’m grateful, but please give proper credit and Link back to my work; plagiarism sucks!

 

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Friday Fictioneers: Caught In Your Web Of Lies

Three steps forward, two back still equals forward! But still not writing as much as I’d like. Thanks for always showing up, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields! This week’s photo is provided by  Ronda Del Boccio. Honest, constructive feedback is always welcome.

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© Ronda Del Boccio

 

Caught In Your Web of Lies

Last night was amazing! You sure know how to make me feel special, babe. Your body’s so hot! Baby, I’ve been thinking about you all day––

Alice re-read the last two lines of the email and slammed the laptop shut. Her eyes burned with tears as she glanced at the photos along the mantel, then ran to the bathroom to vomit.

Two hours later she opened the computer again.

John, I’ve taken what I need from our bank account. Call your baby. I’m through.

Alice hit send, and left her home for good.

(Word count: 92)

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GIPYKAPOW! Have you stopped by Tales From the Motherland Facebook page to spread some fairy dust? I’m grateful for each Like. Follow me on Twitter, LeBron James does (for real… well, he did. But he may have dropped me recently)! Most importantly, if you like a post I’ve written, hit Like and leave a comment. Honest, constructive feedback is always appreciated. Click Follow; you’ll get each new post delivered by email,  no spam.

©2011-2019  All content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, I’m grateful, but please give proper credit and Link back to my work; plagiarism sucks!

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Gray on Gray…

I posted this five years ago, and while so much has changed in the lives of my three kids, the feelings I wrote here are just as strong, just as real. I now have two grandchildren–– something I could barely fathom then. My life has settled into one of reconnecting with my kids, not being tied to them or living with or near them.

It is also striking and interesting to read through the comments again, and realize which connections I’ve sustained and which I’ve lost… thru’ my less than active blogging. Some of the folks who read this then and commented, have now seen their wee ones fledge as well. Oh, the earth just continues to turn. And we survive it.

TALES FROM THE MOTHERLAND

Little boots, sit by the door... waiting for children who have grown up. Little boots, sit by the door… waiting for children who have grown up.

I am sitting at a beautiful Inn on an island in the San Juan Islands. It’s as magical and beautiful, as that sounds. At a writer’s retreat for the weekend, I’ve had trouble writing– lulled by the stunning beauty around me, and the welling of gratitude in my heart. The wet snow is pattering on the roof; music plays softly– a soundtrack of songs that speaks to how I’m feeling. I look dreamily out at the gray sky, the gray water, the darker gray islands, with only the evergreens to break the monochrome palette… and my emotions overwhelm me. I gaze out; I blink, and it all comes back to me.

As I sit, an email comes in to inform me that my twenty-one year old son has claimed the miles from one of my airline accounts…

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Friday Fictioneers: Fade To Black

Well, getting back to my real life after 6 weeks with the grands and my daughter/son-in-law took a bit more than I expected; I missed last week. I came home to a million tiny fires to tend and our 23rd Oscar costume party. Glad to get back to some flash fiction and the fabulous Fictioneers! Thanks Rochelle for always tending the fires here. Thanks to CE Ayre for this weeks photos.

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© CEAyr

 

Fade To Black

“I don’t believe in foolish superstitions.” Ella swatted the air with disdain. “Black cats are only that: black cats. No different than a white cat, or one with spots. It’s nothing.”

Brian narrowed his eyes as she spoke. “Just being together is a risk; your family will never allow it. This seems like another sign.”

She laughed. “My family can’t stop us. Don’t let them get in your head.”

“Seriously? Tell me again what your brothers did to the last guy you got serious with–– then tell me not to worry about a black cat blocking our getaway.”

(98 words)

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GIPYKAPOW! Have you stopped by Tales From the Motherland Facebook page to spread some fairy dust? I’m grateful for each Like. Follow me on Twitter, LeBron James does (for real… well, he did. But he may have dropped me recently)! Most importantly, if you like a post I’ve written, hit Like and leave a comment. Honest, constructive feedback is always appreciated. Click Follow; you’ll get each new post delivered by email,  no spam.

©2011-2019  All content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, I’m grateful, but please give proper credit and Link back to my work; plagiarism sucks!

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BLUE

As my final days in Israel wind down, I know I will miss my beautiful grandsons. At three, A is the light of my life, and his new baby brother has been a dream to cuddle. No doubt, the inspiration for this story comes from the reminder of what it is to be a young parent.

CORRECTION: Ok, here’s a funny side story. Here in Israel, Shabbat starts at sundown on Friday, and everyone has at least half the day off. Then Saturday is a full day off as well.  The work week begins again on Sunday–– Sunday is like Monday at home. This throws me off a little every week when I’m here. Maybe because I’m preparing to go home soon, my brain really got turned around completely, as this week I’ve been ahead by a day since Sunday.

All day today, I was sure it was Wednesday. Wednesday is Friday Fictioneers day. So I went to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ page, saw this photo and ran with it. I put it up and even added it to the InLinkz on her page… A few hours later, I woke in a panic, and realized I had the wrong day, and the wrong writing challenge.

But, I don’t have the heart to pull this down.

Ironically, sometimes two wrongs do make a right. After a year of being stuck in a funky deep, dark, writer’s block… I’m apparently unstuck! Thanks for the photo, Rochelle; I’ll try again tomorrow.

IT GETS BETTER! So… I took down the Friday Fictioneers tags, I wrote that correction and I waited for Wednesday to come, which comes here (in Israel) 8 hours before it comes to Rochelle’s home. Dale watched the whole thing transpire, as I slept.

Now it’s Wednesday, here and there. I just saw the photo prompt and voilà; it works for this story! The underwater photo is the wrong photo, one of Rochelle’s photos for Pegman, but the one that inspired my story. The official Friday Fictioneers photo prompt, below the underwater photo is the correct one and works quite nicely with my story… Hmm, maybe it’s THREE wrongs make a right? Sleep deprivation leads to creativity? Or something like that. I’ve given credit for both photos, and hopefully Rochelle finds this as amusing as I do! I know she loves kismet as much as me.

If you read all of the preamble, bravo for you! It’s amusing, if not convoluted. Many thanks to Rochelle for her passionate commitment to Friday Fictioneers, I’m so grateful for this happy writing spot. As always, I welcome honest, constructive feedback. Please leave a comment.

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©Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

jhc-asylum

©J Hardy Carroll

Blue

“Honey, what is it?” Jared stroked Ellie’s cheek, as she stared blankly out the window. “You can tell me; why were you crying?”

She shrugged, and turned her face away from his earnest gaze.

“I don’t understand; everything’s so wonderful. Why are you sitting here by yourself?”

Her eyes filled with tears again, but she remained silent.

“Most people would die to live in this neighborhood, we have a beautiful, healthy new son; what could be wrong?”

Ellie struggled with words. She just wanted to curl up and watch the sky.

“I just feel so blue,” she whispered.

(98 words)

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GIPYKAPOW! Have you stopped by Tales From the Motherland Facebook page to spread some fairy dust? I’m grateful for each Like. Follow me on Twitter, LeBron James does (for real… well, he did. But he may have dropped me recently)! Most importantly, if you like a post I’ve written, hit Like and leave a comment. Honest, constructive feedback is always appreciated. Click Follow; you’ll get each new post delivered by email,  no spam.

©2011-2019  All content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, I’m grateful, but please give proper credit and Link back to my work; plagiarism sucks!

 

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The Heart’s Invisible Furies- book review

 

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I have been an avid reader since childhood. Books are my friend, and there’s nothing better than a book that truly grabs you and pulls you into its arms… and leaves you sorry to let it go, when you finish. The Heart’s Invisible Furies, by John Boyne is a book that checked off all of my favorite boxes. The story follows the life of Cyril Avery, in seven-year increments, from the time his teenage mother is cast out of her small Irish town, to age 70 when… * Well, I won’t give it away.

It’s enchanting for its quirky elements, but there’s real heart to this story, throughout, as well as sharp, intelligent writing–– touching on literature, art, politics, religion, morals, history, and the world’s inability to accept homosexuality (and the horrific ways that has played out). How have I not ready John Boyle before now? I kept asking myself this question, with each brilliant detail, each clever saying (“I’d rather bore a hole through the earth with my tongue”–– it’s feckin’ brilliant!), each gorgeous string of words and descriptive passage. His writing is a joy to read on so many levels!

Cyril is given up for adoption by his young mother, who is sassy, intelligent and resilient, but alone and poor. He lands in the affluent home of writer Maude and scoundrel Charles Avery, who never really nurture or care for their adopted son. Young Cyril is left to a world of books and observations on people, without guidance or love. He becomes enthralled with Julian, the son of his father’s lawyer, and their lives form the storyline for much of this book, as Cyril follows his misleading heart.

This is a long book, but is well worth the time and effort. I was swept up in this strange boy–> teen–> man’s life experiences as a homosexual in Ireland and abroad. The main plot focuses on the oppressive doctrines of the Irish Catholic church, which dictated social, political and family mores (for centuries) just after WWII, when the story stars, until today–– where things are definitely changing, but still influenced by this heavy burden of judgement.

Cyril’s story of sexual identity and the universal need to understand ourselves and feel loved, moves us through the humorous, lonely, horrifying, and always informing events that impact his life, as well as the ironic twists that inform the kismet of that trajectory. While it is never stated, Cyril definitely seems to have some Aspberger personality traits, which lead to constant confusion and misunderstandings as he stumbles through life. This aspect of his personality also shields him from the painful attacks that encounters from all sides. His adoptive parents constantly remind him that he is “not a true Avery,” and his early awareness of his sexuality makes it impossible to live a safe or open life in Ireland.

He can also be selfish and and self-absorbed in a way that makes it hard to always feel compassion for the situations he finds himself in. This aspect of the story is really well done by Boyne. The reader, who can see all sides of the story, while Cyril can’t, does not have a straight path. One can only feel compassion for a young child who is so alone in the world, but as Cyril stumbles along, we are torn between frustration and disdain with his insensitivities, while also feeling sensitive to the reasons.

This book was wonderful gem from start to finish. I couldn’t wait to pick it up, whenever possible, to see where Cyril Avery would take me. Anyone who loves real literature, with all it’s pathos and meaning, and without the gimmicks many popular books have these days (they have their place on my shelves as well), then The Heart’s Invisible Furies is a must read! Loved this book… and still coming to terms with it’s conclusion. It’s always the mark of a great read, when I miss the characters long after finishing the book. Catherine, Cyril, Charles, Maude, Julian, Bastian… will be with me for a long time to come.

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GIPYKAPOW! Have you stopped by Tales From the Motherland Facebook page to spread some fairy dust? I’m grateful for each Like. Follow me on Twitter, LeBron James does (for real… well, he did. But he may have dropped me recently)! Most importantly, if you like a post I’ve written, hit Like and leave a comment. Honest, constructive feedback is always appreciated. Click Follow; you’ll get each new post delivered by email,  no spam.

©2011-2019  All content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, I’m grateful, but please give proper credit and Link back to my work; plagiarism sucks!

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