Have you ever had one of those months where life just kicks you in the nuts? I’m having one of those. So, I hope this will make people feel better.
Copyright – Marie Gail Stratford
I traveled far and wide to see a thing of beauty.
I looked at an old wine-rack, now dutifully repurposed as a light display at this dive of a bar. I examined in thoroughly, and saw no flaws. The liquid was resonant, the electrical construction was exquisite.
“How much for that light rack?”
“It’s not for sale. That thing is what makes us half our money.”
“How does an old wine rack do that?”
The bartender I was talking to just laughed.
As the lights blinked to the music, I suddenly got the urge to buy a bottle of whiskey.
“How much for the whiskey bottle?”
“Heh. See? That’s what it does for me. Subliminal messaging.”
I only noticed that he was still speaking to me after plopping the whiskey bottle into my hand.
(Author’s Note: If you’re interested in reading the previous four stories of Mayumi, please use the tag “Mayumi” to find her stories.)
Mayumi’s Story (Part V)
“The View From Your Window”
by Miles Rost
3 months at her new job, and she hated it. With a passion.
Contracted for a year, she had to ride out the entire ride while she dealt with all the pressures of whining customers, a boss who was indifferent most times, and unable to communicate properly at the monthly performance meetings. The customers were right, she knew, and she did the best she could to take care of them. However, without the communicative support of her boss, she was not going to be happy until she was out of there.
Mayumi survived the rest of the week, though panicking that she could be let go from her contract at any time. This made her stressed out more than usual, as she was counting on the 1-year longevity bonus to help her pay down debt. It was daunting, as well, as her friend at the station moved onto greener pastures. She was the only one left, and had no other friends at work to talk to.
A 4 day vacation was in the offing, and she was happy to get the time off. A substitute for the show was taking over and she was going to have a few days to relax and rest.
Until day 2. When the pains in her belly started.
Sidelined in her apartment, with not much food to eat as she couldn’t go out to get groceries, she sat in her bedroom. At her desk, she had a piece of paper in front of her and a pencil.
“What can ah write? I wanna write but ah have no clue…” she muttered, as she stared intently at the white sheet in front of her. She took a breath and decided to just take a look out her bedroom window. It was there, and it wasn’t four walls of a dark room, so why not?
She opened the curtains, and looked out. Immediately, she was shocked and surprised.
She looked out the window and saw a beautifully cared-for lawn, freshly cut and beautifully manicured. Close to her was a dark area of ground, with small little green shoots poking up like hairs on a forearm. Lining the fence down the side of the lawn was a series of bushes that reminded her of the lilacs that grew around her family’s home back in Hornsby Shire. She smiled as she saw all of the new beauty that was being created from a space that not even 3 months before was a ramshackle home, which she realized did not look so ramshackle anymore.
The peeling paint of the old house had since gone, and was painted with a fresh coat of brickhouse red. The house’s color fit well with the brick-walled apartments 30 feet from the back door. The trim of the house stood out like the white peppermint of a candy-cane.
Whoever owns that house really wanted to make it noticeable, she thought to herself.
Just as she was about to stand, she noticed the back door open up. She saw a young lady, almost the same age as her, though her appearance was quite shocking to Mayumi. A cherubic face framed by cotton-candy pink hair, with a black t-shirt and black shorts, the young collegian looked to be very punk-like, despite the lack of make-up. She was smiling, as she walked down to the earthen part of the lawn.
She put on a pair of gloves, and picked up a water hose that was nearby. She squeezed the green snake-like hose and a stream of water misted out over the sprouting earth. She laughed as she continued to spray the area, gleefully enjoying her time watering the garden.
As Mayumi watched the young lady, she had thoughts of her home and her dad, an ardent greenthumb. She loved watching him while he worked his hands in the garden, and picking berries from the vines that ran across one part of her family’s property.
She closed the semi-transparent curtains in her room, as she turned to write things from her own heart onto the paper.
Work has been kicking my butt lately, so I haven’t been as active as I like. Hopefully, I’ll be able to do better now that summer is leaving. Here’s my offering for the fictioneers this week.
copyright – Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
The Keeper Of The Flame
I tend to these coals like they are my children. They’re the lifeblood of my tribe.
Without fire, my tribe would have died out a long time ago. Every generation has one person, a boy or a girl, who keeps these flames going constantly. These flames help make our food, bend our metal, and even forge our lore.
My great uncle was a keeper of the flames, my father as well, and it was passed to me when I turned 21. In the shade of the big buildings, there are very few of my kind left.
I am the keeper of the flame. This is my role, this is my life.