Celeste radiated something akin to love, a certain lukewarm appreciation.
Mama called this cunning — Celeste prickled behind her eyes.
Papa said it smarts — Celeste upset his oversensitive gut.
Celeste melted my heart.
Was I suspicious?
Never! Celeste could have bought and sold us. Our secret, until after the wedding.
50 Word Stories – Unexpected
When that first snowdrop pushes through the earth, its white cap more delicate than a snowflake yet stronger than a storm, some might call it unexpected. Last night, a good man slipped the other way in search of bulbs within the earth; it was not unexpected.
Unexpected: an all-encompassing word.
The circling vultures flew away disgusted.
50 Word Stories: Loss
There were reasons for our languor, our permanent malaise. We discussed them like all good parents would but never found a satisfactory answer. If there was one? Sat on our porch, we even cuddled one tangerine sunrise whilst watching the yard; it lit her twisted bike like a burnt memory.
For the first time in the four and a half years since I left work to write, I took two hours off during the day to watch television. I’m a huge Studio Ghibli fan and saw one of their latest movies, When Marnie Was There, advertised to be on over lunchtime. I hadn’t seen it and don’t have pay tv. Now, I’m rigid in my writing hours, eight until four, but I had to watch it. I’m so glad I did. Sometimes, a break is as good as a rest, and today it was. A truly magical film. As with all Ghibli films, the art was incredibly beautiful and the story more so. If you haven’t seen it, you should, it’s an advert for fantasy at its best. A tale of family and living life with a smile despite hardship, the film was superb. A good moral to take from a story, I think, something we should all consider more.
She wept. I wept. Dog barked.
In the evenings, we practised singing. When our father returned, we stopped. Our neighbours asked us why we deceased? Our father was a good man who didn't drink or promote fear, nor treat us poorly. So why, they'd say? He deserved some quiet, our reply. As he did our respect.
There wasn’t one particular issue with Willard. That would have been much too easy to sort. Neither was there lots of individual issues. That too would have oversimplified the situation. No, much as it pains me to admit it, him being my brother and all, but Willard himself was the problem. Where most spoke, Willard chirped. Where you and I had houses, Willard had a tree. He refused to leave it squawking as much in his birdlike way, pooping on the cars below and eating berries off its branches. He was a strange one was Willard.
The problems came to a head when Willard’s tree got hit by lightning; it blew his fluffy feathers off. Naked from the waist up, his beak twisted round to face the wrong direction and his fake wings in tatters, Willard asked if he could move in with me. What could I say, he was my brother?
The rest of the town thought me mad, crackers, off my trolley. I was, and I wasn’t. Mostly not.
Willard, of course, refused to take a room and instead perched on my chimney pot. He made a nest out of twigs and an old deckchair and settled there quite content in his own weird way. Now and then, I’d throw him some seed, the odd worm, and a cracker or two and he was very grateful always eating the lot.
So why did I do it? Why? Let’s just say Christmas turkey was a whopper that year. There’s nothing like keeping it in the family.
50 Word Stories: Ruthie May
Ruthie May lived in a yellow caravan with net curtains and a flower garden set in an old toilet. Her caravan was in our yard, but only I could see it. When papa beat me, I hid with Ruthie May. She pretended to be my mama. I wish mama had.
It doesn't matter how many pairs of boots you wear, the miles they've covered, what they've seen, they'll never replace a pair of slippers by your own door. It was a simple detail, lesson learned, but learn it I did. I just wish you'd been there to pass me them.