Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunday Prompt

Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils ... - Louis Hector Berlioz


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  2. “The scything swing
    of the pendulum dances
    among the elders,
    the youngers,
    the middle aged men
    in working pants and business suits.

    Trimming, invigorating, slaying.

    Whispering as it slices
    through your best friend from college


    That’s the end.”

    The house lights came up and the mayor bustled onto the stage with a too loud “Thank you, Clive. Let’s have a round of applause for Clive. . . and welcome our next poet, Ginger, with her entry ‘Little Cats.’”

    Clive looked around for applauding hands in his direction, but all eyes were on the (of course) red-headed Ginger and her basket of stuffed toy kittens.

    “Really C? That’s what you bring to the community talent show?” Jim was Clive’s best friend from work. His only friend in Rink-a-Dink, Alabama. After his post office job shut down, Clive relocated to the backside of nowhere in the hopes of avoiding, well, everything.

    It hadn’t worked.

    Everyone in Rink-a-Dink believed in community. They whispered the word in awe, held community get-togethers and Friday night dances. Hell to a man who wanted solitude. But Clive couldn’t move. His money was gone, sunk into a cottage on a lake. A lake that was populated by big throated frogs and truant teenagers. And his new job didn’t pay enough to save enough quickly enough to get out.

    Clive still dreamed about it. Henry stepping out in front of the postal jeep, smiling, welcoming.

    “C? Clive. Snap out of it. We’re gonna go get some beers at Willy’s Bar. You coming?”

  3. B. Nagel - great writing! This was a tough prompt (imho) and you wrote a compelling story. Well done!

  4. thanks lightverse. It's a rainy dark crummy day in my corner of the South, so that had a bit to do with it. Looking forward to everyone else's story (including yours).

  5. Amanda chewed on her lip. The once shiny lip-gloss that was usually her signature flare was at this point nonexistent. Karen had never seen her look so pathetic.

    “She has it in for me.”

    “Whatever.” Karen rolled her eyes. “You’re overreacting.”

    “Am I?”

    Mrs Rivers walked in the door. She wore her tweed suit as usual even though it was the middle of July. Her stern countenance gave nothing away. And for a moment, the girls thought they’d gone unnoticed.

    “Amanda,” Mrs Rivers called, not bothering to look at the rest of the classroom.

    Karen leaned over and whispered in Amanda’s ear, “You’re right. You’re dead!

    Time is a river. Oh that's rich. And not sad like mine.

  7. Yours wasn't bad! I liked it. Mine's lame but... It's Monday morning for me. You can't expect much... LOL!!!!

  8. Okay you two...both pieces are great!!
    B.Nagel, loved the poem and how you wove the story into it.
    Heather, you are so good at nailing the prompt with a short piece!

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  10. OMG - Heather! That was sooooooo good!

  11. It was Laura’s night to volunteer at the hospice. Most of the ‘guests’ at the hospice (there were six of them that evening) appeared to be resting more or less comfortably, even with the occasional family member present. All of them most likely were aware of why they were there, but they all seemed relatively peaceful since there were no tubes or wire attached to them, and they only received pain medications when indicated for their respective palliative care.

    Laura was sitting at the desk in the front station when Jon, the night supervisor, came down the hall and waved to her. “Mr. Jacoby in Room Four is asking for you, Laura,” he said.

    Laura looked surprised. “Me? I thought he went back to sleep after his daughter left. But anyway, he asked for me by name?”

    Jon nodded.

    “That’s weird, because I’ve never actually had a conversation with him. Not since he arrived two weeks ago. Either his daughter was in there with him, or he was sleeping.”

    “Did you ever talk to him while you were checking in on him, though?”

    “Sure. I talk to all of them. But all I do is just try to offer some kind words – you know, and tell them I hope they are all right.”

    “You know they can still hear you, right?” asked Jon.

    “I guess. Well, let me see what I can do for Mr. Jacoby.” Laura smiled at Jon and then walked down the hallway, heading to Room Four. Mr. Jacoby was still lying on his back, looking tiny and wasted under the blanket.

    “Hi, Mr. Jacoby. Jon said you wanted me? What would you like for me to do for you?” Laura spoke to the man in a very soft voice.

    “Thank you for coming here,” rasped Mr. Jacoby, “I need a favor, if it wouldn’t be too much trouble.”

    “I’ll certainly try. What would you like, sir?” Laura’s eyebrows rose slightly.

    “I haven’t much time left.”

    “Mr. Jacoby – “

    “Please, Laura.” He smiled wanly. “We both know. It’s why I’m here. But at least, I have my dignity, which is a very good thing. But when my daughter was here earlier, I must have dozed off. I never got to ask Maggie to sing me the elephant song. It’s a song I taught her to sing when she was little and scared. It brought some comfort to her I think, but it had the strange effect of comforting me at those times, too. Would you please sing it to me?”

    Laura swallowed hard. “I’m sorry Mr. Jacoby, but I don’t know any elephant songs.”

    “Never mind,” the pale, sick man murmured. He started to close his eyes.

    “Wait – Mr. Jacoby? I don’t know elephant songs, but I can sing you a song about a dragon. Would that do?’

    A smile seemed to play slightly on the man’s parched lips.

    Laura sang Puff the Magic Dragon, fighting back her tears with words and melody. As she started singing the final chorus, she realized that Mr. Jacoby was lying there, very still, with his eyes shut. She stopped singing and moved closer to the man to check for a pulse. There was none.

    She quietly left the room and ran to the station to get Jon. “I think he’s gone.” Laura brushed a tear from her cheek. “I know it shouldn’t get to me, but it does. It always does.”

    Jon nodded at her as he picked up the house phone. He called for the doctor to meet him in Room Four.

    Laura sat in the chair at the desk, brushing away more tears. After a few minutes, she took stock of herself. That’s when she noticed a blank sheet of plain white paper sitting on the blotter. “That’s odd. I don’t remember seeing this here before. Maybe Jon left it.”

    Then her eyes widened. “Oh goodness! Little Jackie Paper?! If that’s you,” she whispered to the sheet of paper, “please make sure Mr. Jacoby finds his elephant when he gets to Honnalee.”

  12. Deb – Thanks. It’s practice… and laziness. Hahahaha

    Lightverse – that was depressing. LOL!!! I didn’t expect the dude to die! Man, you’re harsh!

  13. Sorry Heather. On odd occasions, I've been known to kill off a character or two. (Mwahahahaha!)

    But I promise to go back to happy endings tomorrow.

  14. Tomorrow should be unofficial "Kill Off A Character Day."

  15. Hey, where were all you guys yesterday? You left me hanging with the only post and btw, it was crap. Hmmm, maybe that was why...oh I get it now. hahaha
    Okay Lightverse, I'm waiting for your first prompt tomorrow. No pressure.

  16. Sorry!!! Life happened. And then when I went to do it... this one was up. :(

  17. Kill Off a Character Day!!!???

    Eeeeek! You guys really are macabre!

    (And sorry Deb. See you here today? Same bat time, same bat channel?)