Week 1 – Nano

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I got a late start to Nano this year… just couldn’t seem to find a start point. Then I made a decision not to start with a blank page, but to begin to put together all the little pieces and parts I’ve been ‘playing’ with for the last month or so, and see where that would lead me. A lot of it came out of Friday Fictioneer’s ( found at: https://rochellewisoff.com/) writes, so kudos to the lovely Rochelle and fellow authors for your inspirations and encouragements!

So, after the rough start, where has the week gone? Well, my current fresh write count (writing above and beyond my scalped pieces) is now at 36,527 words… at this rate, I’ll have my goal met by the end of the week if the muse continues. I am still a bit intimidated by my own word counts in the past. Last year’s final word count that was 185,967 words, and the year before that was 350, 986 words. I think I’ve over achieved! haha! It’s all okay in the end… My terabyte drive is slowly filling. My posterity, if they chose to publish, will no doubt make a themselves a fortune off of the writings.

Off I go, more worlds to explore – uh, destroy. I have characters who’ve lived their whole lives in war, who are now finding that living peacefully is downright hard to do. Terra Firma isn’t the same planet it was before the nukes destroyed it, after all.

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Nano Launch…

Charles Day Palmer

C. Charles Day Palmer, Germany 1940’s.

Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) launched at midnight Greenwich time last night (8pm local) for me. So far, what you see here is what I’ve written. Not a good start to the month I have to admit. No clue where to go, no characters really well planned… but, as I was scanning back through my pics here looking for some inspiration, I came upon this one.  Pretty much, it gives an impression on what the Aki are facing on their homeworld after the great wars. And so, by popular vote, they’ve decided that it’s time to get the H* out of dodge, so to speak. Soooo, maybe that’s where I’ll start and see where it leads. I’ll be doing Nano unofficially this year.

Terra Firma is calling me home…that, and laundry… and to finish unpacking.   Fellow Nano’s, I wish for you a ton of words and ideas in the following 30 days… may the sentences come easy, and the paragraphs filled! Good Luck! Break some lead/keyboard!

 

Too Little…

chess-eyes

PHOTO PROMPT © Jeff Arnold

 

Too little to understand, I looked through the chess pieces to the fight. He, tall, and towering over her like a giant Goliath. She, small, refusing to cower in fear. Words of hate echoed off the walls. Light glinted off the barrel, blinding me to the moment when the bullet made impact. I watched her crumple, a red rose of blood blossoming across her chest. The Goliath smiled and laughed.

I vowed never to forget.

I did not.

There he is, now. So small… cowering…

wc: 85

 

Authors Note: My deepest sympathies and prayers go out to the congregation of Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania this week. It is a horror that touches the soul so very deeply, even hundreds of miles away.  Thank you, Jeff Arnold for giving us such a fitting photo for this week’s prompt.

 

This work of fiction is written for  Friday Fictioneer ‘s 100 word writing challenge hosted weekly by the lovely Rochelle Wisoff-fields.  Come on out and join us at: Friday Fictioneer ‘s if you’re up to a good challenge, or even a really great read. These little stories are well worth your time! A Huge thank you goes to  Jeff Arnold for sharing this week’s photo prompt with us.We’d love to see you around the table.

Castles in the Air…

Author’s Extra Note: Many have commented on the skulls. I got my inspiration many years ago when I came across a picture of this church in Poland called The Chapel of Skulls in Kaplica Czaszek, Poland. Just this morn, I came across a youtube video about it…

https://youtu.be/BDYBhd_UjbU

jill-f

PHOTO PROMPT © Jilly Funell

 

Castles in the Air…

Takarna’s gaze lingered on the plaza below. Soon, she’d join the other Aki on the ship bound for Terra Firma.

Right now, she stood contemplating the past. Within the stone of the plaza the thousands of skulls she’d been forced to boil would forever glare up at the sky. The war was over. The faces remained forever sealed within the white sidewalks. She swallowed hard as the memories filled her eyes.

‘I promise, you will never have to see it again.’ Charles voice anchored her.

‘I will never forget.’ She whispered.

‘No, you won’t.’ He agreed. ‘None of us will.’

 

Author’s note: This morning, I was listening to Celtic Thunder’s rendition of “Castles in the Air” and it served as inspiration for this write though the story went a different direction.  7 days and counting down to move. I was up  to see the progress on the new apartment, and the new tub is in! 🙂 YEAH! Meanwhile my little Tripper is getting into everything and is a little thief, stealing socks and anything else he can get his wee paws on. 🙂 ❤  McDonalds, where I’ve been posting from for the last 10+ years has changed their internet provider. The new provider does not support “Firefox”, so I’m finding new access points.

This work of fiction is written for  Friday Fictioneer ‘s 100 word writing challenge hosted weekly by the lovely Rochelle Wisoff-fields.  Come on out and join us at: Friday Fictioneer ‘s if you’re up to a good challenge, or even a really great read. These little stories are well worth your time! A Huge thank you goes to  Jilly Funell for sharing this week’s photo prompt with us.We’d love to see you around the table.

The Colors Ran: Yellow

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Image courtesy of Pinterest

 

The Colors Ran: Yellow

Part 2

The Burden Basket.

At the time of the fall solstice, on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), my Great Great Grandmother Howesha Mkwa ‘Cora’ would take down the burden basket that hung beside the mezuzah. The basket was one that she had made from vines she’d collected as a young woman. At this time of the year, the basket was filled with leaves, wilted flowers, and many little pieces of paper and bark that had been written upon. Everyone in the family had contributed to it’s filling over the year. Great Great Grandmother Howesha Mkwa ‘Cora’ would hand carry the basket out the front door where she would hand it to Great Grandmother Howesha Mkwa ‘Belle’ who would carry it around the house to the back yard where Great Grandfather ‘Charles’ had already built up the fire and the family were dancing. The dancing would stop when Great Grandmother ‘Belle’ reached the circle to join Grandmother Two Hawks ‘June’ and I.

The family gathered around the fire, then, leaving an area for Grandmother Two Hawks ‘June’ to walk. Grandmother Two Hawks ‘June’ would call me to her side, then. We would step into the circle the family created and walk one round in silence, often stopping for someone to add something to the basket. Then, Grandmother Two Hawks ‘June’ would begin to sing prayers in our language.

At seven points around the circle, she would stop and say a prayer to Creator God to forgive us for the past year’s shortcomings. At each point, also, she would reach into the basket and take out a handful of stuff, placing a few pieces in my little hands. Then,we would throw them into the fire and watch until they were consumed. Then, we would move on to the next point and repeat the process until the basket was empty. It would always be empty at the seventh point. How she did it so perfectly, I’ll never really know. Walking alongside my Grandmothers, I learned the traditions, hands-on. From her, and her Mother, and her mother, I learned the ways of healing, forgiveness, and walking the circle in peace.

After the prayers of Atonement were said; and the past was consumed by the fire, it was time to begin the new year with a Feast! The Fall Bread feast to be exact. Grandmother Two Hawks ‘June’ would hand over the empty burden basket to Great Grandmother Howesha Mkwa ‘Belle’ who would then carry it around the table to Great Great Grandmother Howesha Mkwa ‘Cora’. She would then rise, and call everyone to prayer…

‘We ask you God, our Creator, the maker of all that is, all that was, and all that will be…’ She began in our ancient language, lifting the empty basket as she prayed. ‘… to forgive us for our shortcomings, to guide our footsteps and to grant us wisdom for the next year’s journey. Watch over us as we journey into lands we have never seen, and into situations we have never known. Fill us with the fire of your love such that it may consume all that we are and keep our hearts pure before you. We ask you to take all of our burdens and free us to walk the journey you have set for us in peace and in the beauty of the bounty of your creation. We thank you and we live for your glory. Omayne and Aho!

Then, she would gently set the empty basket amid the small baskets already brimming with Corn, Beans, and Squash. As she did so, she commanded the festivities to begin…

Battlement

stone-house

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Zia commandeered the fortified battlement the instant he found it. It was strategically located and defensible; all the things he needed in a home.

Right behind him, Xenia saw it and chortled with glee. It was the perfect place to create her designs in secret. She declared it hers.

Zia spun on his heels, anger drawing his face into harsh lines.

Xenia stood her ground, hands on her hips and lips pressed into a thin line.

Blood would have been shed had not Stephen intervened.

WC:85

Author’s note: 13 days and counting down to move. Everything that can be packed is packed. “Reformation” is coming along a few words/scenes at a time. It’s tough for the Aki clones in this new environment on Terra. Their homeworld was a land where people lived in domes for protection from the tempermental environment and the ‘Rain Fever’ that it spawned. Here, on Terra Firma, the biggest threat was that of radiation. They were not afraid of it as they had been genetically created to be virtually immune from it’s affects. Right now, they were settling the land and staking out claims on any ruins they found.

This work of fiction is written for  Friday Fictioneer ‘s 100 word writing challenge hosted weekly by the lovely Rochelle Wisoff-fields.  Come on out and join us at: Friday Fictioneer ‘s if you’re up to a good challenge, or even a really great read. These little stories are well worth your time! A Huge thank you goes to  our lovely hostess, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for sharing this week’s photo prompt with us.We’d love to see you around the table.

The Colors Ran: Red part 1

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Image borrowed from Google images.

The Colors Ran: Red

Part 1

Entering into my Great Grandparent’s home, the first thing one noticed was the small Mezuzah on the inside door frame. Along side it on the wall above the light switch was a small basket tucked full of leaves, feathers, branches, and stalks of flowers. Above the door and from the ceiling was hung a small dreamcatcher. Tucked in the corner beside the door was a place for umbrellas and where the American Flag from the front porch rested every night. Across from the door was a wall-length glass doored cupboard containing very old books and relics from all over the world and from days gone by. These were the colors of my childhood.

My Great Grandfather was a veteran of both of the “Great Wars” as he called them. That would be World War One and Two. On occasion, special days, he would speak of the wars. Always, it was with a dreadful calm, barely above a whisper, and filled with an unspeakable emotion. Such are the first memories of my youth, being tucked in his arms with my head on his shoulder. I could hear his heart beating like a drum, his breath moving in and out of his lungs that often rasped like hands flung across the piano’s low keys. These were the sounds of life and living colored with the blood that often tinged his cheeks and nose with a red glow.

Every year, at Passover, was one such occasion when Granpa would speak of the Wars. His stories of World War Two were vivid and disturbing. One could not listen to the sights he saw without a tear and without a prayer. At Passover, his story was one of faith and survival… God’s Providence. Though, I was much to young to understand, he would tell me the story. Every year, he would place the little red cloth in my hands… a symbol for the blood, he called it. With his help, we would drape the Mezuzah with the little cloth, Granpa tying it so it wouldn’t fall in the night. Then, he would pray in a language I did not understand. It was a prayer, he said, that came from the Jewish man he’d saved during the war. They’d been in Hospital in England together and when they parted ways the man gave Granpa the Mezuzah to remember him by. After the prayer, Granpa would tell me the story of the first Passover, how the Angels of Death had passed over the houses of the those who had Lamb’s blood on them. Then, he would carry me into his couch and pull out his well-worn Bible and read the story again.

‘It is not good enough to just read God’s word,’ I can still hear his voice saying. ‘You’ve got to know them here (taps his temple) and here ( pats his chest). Then, then you must use these (holds out his hands) to do what God will ask of you to do.’

My Great Granpa was not a man of many words. The Wars had left him with emphysema making it hard to breath, let alone speak. So, when he did speak, it was just natural to stop what you were doing and to listen to him. Such were the lessons of life passed down. Through memory’s story and deeds.