Friday, February 24, 2012

~An Act of Contrast~

If you like, write to this picture specifically, or explore an idea of contrasting, imagery extremes in your writing today. 

1. a. The act of contrasting; a setting off of dissimilar entities or objects.
b. The state of being contrasted: red berries standing in vivid contrast against the snow.

Have fun Friday-fiction-flashers!! Because everybody has a little story to tell...


  1. ~OF FENCES~
    Crisp, the air held the height of fall in its fullness and I was ready to welcome the warmth of the school building. Rounding the corner, the path that I traversed led me to the back-side entrance of our elementary school.

    Stopping short my breath caught in my throat and an immediate ball of anxiety welled in my belly. Shocked, I peered at the ruddy-red of brick wall with crisp white lines scrawled boldly across it, spelling words which would be imprinted indelibly in my mind forever… “ALEX IS A GAY LOVER.”

    I blinked blindly, trying to over-ride the tears that were welling so quickly, balling and un-balling my fists, I had all I could do to withhold from attacking her, them.

    “Hey there, Alexandria,” Trish’s voice sneered, grasping still, the cold white chalk; powder staining her prissy, pink-painted fingers.

    There were others. Their faces blended into a smear of shocked-smiling faces that I’ll never be able to erase from my memory.

    All had been well in the new school until the dreaded day, “Open House.” This had newly become an uncomfortable pleasantry, with the unavoidable fact of growing older. Students, parents (mine too), and teachers met. We all mingled about, speaking and critiquing the kid’s artwork and varying points of interest. Prying eyes peered toward me and my family, me and my adoptive parents; staring at me, “Alex-Alexandria-the gay lover-with her two moms.”

    It has been a long time since the incident, but sometimes, at times like these it feels like yesterday. Each time I’m presented with another introductory situation, friends, boyfriends etc., etc., ad nauseam, the scene comes rushing back in each minute detail.

    I dream of a day when people will stop dividing, with sharp, cutting, barbed fences. I long for a time when people will refrain from replacing love with hatred.

    © Hannah Gosselin and Metaphors and Smiles, 2012.

    1. Hannah - this was amazing. I totally echo your sentiment in the final line. ♥

    2. ...and I'm not even sure how to follow your story.

    3. People, especially kids, are often cruel when faced with what they don't understand. Or anything 'different' to them. Well written.

    4. Thank you so much, RJ and Mark!

  2. Blood in the Snow

    We rode the fence at least once a week in the summer. When the heavy snows came it was more like every other week. Breaks were not uncommon; usually it was a stray deer of other wild animal not quite clearing the top strand of barbed wire. Occasionally a post would fall from either the rot of age or the weight of snow.

    This was different. The ground on both sides of the fence was tore up more than usual. A lot of mud mixed with the snow. Both of the top rows of wire were sagging, more like they had been fallen on than catching something jumping over.

    There was more blood than usual too. A few spots trailing off we were used to. This looked more like someone had a paintbrush dipped in red and flicked it overhand out towards the field. A splattered trail leaving holes burned into the snow.

    What we found in the barbs were wrong too. The usual tufts of fur we would find were not there. Instead we found strips of clothing hanging from the fence, dancing on the bitter February wind like the tattered bodes of a ghost.

    We were a long way from anywhere. The falling snow was beginning to hide the footprints and cover the blood.


    God bless Claire Burek.

    Always with a smile at the ready. A curt little wave, wiggling her deformed fingers in a flutter. She rubs her palms over her skirt, pressing out the wrinkles. A sweet old woman.

    "GOOD MORNING MR. HENDRICKS" she'd greet, more of a shout than a salutation.

    The man would pass without so much as an acknowledgement that she still was relevant. Claire would smile her smile, flatten her skirt and look out of the window. She like the sunshine on the crested snow. It was bright. She squinted at the tree in the brilliance of day. Her head would bob above her shoulder as if it were attached by a spring. And she'd wait.

    A motion to her right and she turns.

    "GOOD MORNING MR. HENDRICKS" Claire loudly called in another slight.

    The television sat in static resonance to the array of life in attendance here. Mrs. Burek, of course. But there was Mrs. Costanza in her rumpled floral duster, hands tight gripping the arms of her chair. Mr. Chin who used to own the convenience store nearby, now is resigned to spending his days staring at infomercials that filled the screen across the room. And a hulk of a woman that they only knew as "Sarge".

    The scene out of her window rarely changed. And Claire paid it no heed. She smiled and bobbed. Waved and fluttered. She vacantly stared at the tree, watching a new flurry dust its branches.

    "GOOD MORNING MR. HENDRICKS" she yelled at the window.

    The snow accumulated. A stiff breeze whipped it into drifts. Mr. Chin dozed. "Sarge" sat in quiet conversation with herself. Claire, her dress neatly "pressed" bobbed and nodded; a doddering old dear.

    In her mind, she was far away on an island. She played with coconuts. Claire was exploring her new world. And she was nine. In her mind she was someone else. And she was.

    Her Alzheimers had regressed her to this state. She was held captive in someone else's thoughts. But those thoughts roamed freely. Claire grinned broadly and watched the flakes meander groundward. The tree's branches bore the snow quite well. She saw right past the wondow grate to the bush in the snow. Things weren't so terribly bad in the dayroom on the second floor of Elderedge Senior Care Facility. There was all the time in the world to sit and smile and flatten your skirt.


  4. "Never Forget"

    She was a kid, when the war broke up. A teen, only just discovering life. Falling in love for the very first time. Recognizing in her high school sweetheart her future husband, the father of her children. It was a special time, a happy time. The war was somewhere far, far away, in a distant land. It loomed there to catch up with her later.

    All her adult life she has been carrying the burden of almost personal guilt for what happened to the world then. She – who has not ever hurt anybody – feels deeply responsible for the atrocities committed against people. She is not a Jew, but she goes to church to commemorate the Holocaust, to pray for the slaughtered millions; to pray for us.

    Her memory was not tainted by war. It was pure and untouched, like the freshly fallen snow. She wanted to remember. She filled her memory with ugly things that did not belong: mountains of human flesh, Auschwitz barbed wire that makes her heart bleed.

    Always pray for forgiveness. Never forget. Never.


    As if muffled by the blanket of white outside, the house was quiet except for the soft crackle of the fire in the fireplace—and Sarah’s gentle humming.

    Moving silently through the motions in the kitchen, her heart felt light. Circumstances hadn’t changed—yet, looking out the window and seeing the fresh snow did her some good. Well…that and what she couldn’t see underneath the snow.


    Robert was awake. It was so good to have him home—but Sarah wondered how long it would be until he was really there. His voice didn’t sound the same. His words, not clearly enunciated, were few and far between.

    “Mom?” he called again. “Are…you…there?”

    “Yes, Robert—I’m here in the kitchen. I’ll be right there with some soup for you, Honey.”

    Placing everything on a tray, Sarah rounded the corner to the family room where Robert had been sleeping by the warmth of the fire. She pulled up short as if seeing him again for the first time. She was glad Robert was looking the other way.

    Her eyes moved slowly over Robert’s mangled and bandaged body. She looked briefly away, blinking back tears, glancing again out the window at the new fallen snow. It wasn’t just hiding the mangled barbed wire fencing that nearly took Robert’s life during a snowmobiling accident. No…it was giving Sarah hope for fresh starts and new beginnings.