My Grandmothers Cupboard

My grandmother’s cupboard was always filled with jars of sprouting lentils. She said that it was important to know how to grow your own food, that when you understood where something came from, you better respected and cherished it. Every Saturday we’d have coffee together. I always laboured over my coffee, careful not to burn it, attempting to get the full flavour out of each bean. Her? Instant. Cold. Tap water coffee. Always. Ever since I was a kid. I’d always give her a hard time about her horrible coffee choices. She’d giggle, her laugh lines becoming more pronounced as the corners of her mouth curled into a smile.

“A little old lady like me doesn’t have time to make coffee.”

After coffee, we’d discuss books. Just finished The Education of Little Tree, just started A Hundred Years of Solitude. Should we go to the second hand store and find some more? She’d describe how reading the piano tuner made her weep, and how reading the latest issue of The Atlantic had her fuming. There’s never enough time to read all the things you’d like, she’d sigh. Don’t bother.

Then her soul would get heavy. The weight of the world. How did we get here? She’d frown. What happened to our sense of community, our environment, for goodness sakes, US!? Had we lost ourselves in the drudgery of modern life? Those aren’t things that you should be worrying about, I’d try and assure her. Enjoy your life, now.

Then she’d tell me that her bones ached, and that she was starting to forget things, misplace things. Who was I going to call? Where did I put my …

She’s far away now. But every time I see lentils, instant coffee or a great book, I know, she’s with me.

Departure.

“Come! Quickly!” My mother shouted as she waved her hand toward the entrance to the train. Beads of sweat had collected on the side of her face. She frantically looked around to make sure all three of us were present. Johnny, Louise and I. We had just shy of two minutes to board the train before it departed to the southern most tip of America. Weeks of travelling we ended up in the north west corner of this new country, anxious to get to our final destination. The train signaled it’s departure. Three sharp blasts. I stood nervously inside of the train, my eye fixated on my mothers figure. Louise jumped on at the last minute after hearing my mother scream for the third and final time.

“Where to now, Mamma?” Louise asked as we settled into our seats.

“Home baby. Home.”


147 words. This is a response to Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers, a weekly writing challenge hosted by Priceless Joy. Photo graciously provided by The Storyteller’s Abode.

When the Dust Settles.

“Think you’d survive if you jumped?” Andrea asked me, looking at me with sorrow in her eyes. We both looked down at the ground laying underneath. The forest was finally starting to come back after the tornado hit four years prior.

“Probably just enough to bust your ankles, I guess. I don’t think you’d actually die.” I replied after pulling myself out of my head. We rolled a joint for the walk. Often we found ourselves back in this spot. After each storm came and went, this was one of the last remaining havens to be able to come to, after all the dust finally settled. The bridge had been decommissioned for years when the first storm had hit. The years had taught us to be prepared for the worst. Andrea lit the joint and inhaled.

“Beats staying here, waiting for the next storm.” She coughed as she exhaled, passing it to me.

“Isn’t that the truth.” I laughed.


This is a response to Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers, graciously hosted by Priceless Joy. Photo provided by Dawn M. Miller.

Infinito

I ran my fingers across the gritty, coarse surface of the rock formation. Completely upright, it lent itself to my hands. The small crevices and valleys allowed my fingers to rise and fall as my feet made their way into circle after circle. It had been three years since my mother passed; not without silence. We had come here together so often to sit, backs against the side by side forms. We gazed at the sky as the sun descended into it’s routine rest. She’d recite poetry, I’d listen with open ears.

“Remember
That on that day, at that hour, I shall lift my arms
And my roots will set off to seek another land.”

On that day, at the hour, she did lift her arms. And she did, find roots in another land. Till I reunite with her, this is the space in which we find each other again, momentarily.

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This is a response to Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Photo prompt graciously provided by Louise with “The Storyteller’s Abode”.

The New Order

Escaping the mass evacuation we had found ourselves at the bottom of Angel Falls. I cupped my hands and dipped them into the cool water. Bringing the water to my mouth, I felt the cold water run down my throat. Derek looked up at the throng of people shuffling across the wobbly bridge towards camp.

“We have about 20 minutes before they realize we’re gone, Kat.” He whispered. Our eyes connected, and we both knew that it was time to move on. In the distance the sky filled with smoke and the earth rumbled. Sirens and gunshots.

“Lets go.” I groaned. The echo of the leaders message rippled through the trees. This is the new order, if you chose to fight against the order, you will be taken care of. I grabbed his arm and we disappeared into the forest.

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This is a response to Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Photo graciously provided by Etol Bagam.

Home.

For so many years I’ve experienced a soul-wrenching, gut churning painful type of sadness. It has left a hollow in my heart and a hunger in my belly. For reasons I may never know, I’ve lived with it and struggled with it for as long as I can remember. It seems that one of the many possible answers for my ailment is a firm sense of home. As long as I can remember, I’ve always attributed it to being a place. A house, or a city. A place you can come back to, time and time again, knowing it will be there for you when you return. So often, this place has been with my mother. Regardless of where I get swept off to, I always have a warm bed and a safe haven within the walls of my mothers house. The more I age, the more I realize that the concept of home is fluid, in the sense that you can attribute it more to a feeling, rather than a place. This ensures its survival among all the terrors and misgivings of life. This feeling can evolve, no doubt. It can change among the years, and as you age. But it is no doubt, the same place that you’ll return to at the end of each and every day.

I’m 10 years old. I have a pet hamster named Ned. I share a bedroom with my mother, separated by a dusty white sheet. This is our home. This is where we spent less than a year. We have a dog named Red. A roommate named Lindsay, who came with bags packed and a cat named Fred. It was a small condo, a stones throw away from my school. It had old carpet, and a piano in the front room. This is where my mother made chilli, and played piano. This is where she studied for school and took me to the park. This is where we read, we laughed and we ate.

I’m 17 years old. Although in the same town, my mother has moved into a new home. This home came with a yard, and a rickety fence. Peeled paint. All the rooms in this house are a different colour. Orange for the sitting room, chocolate brown for the bonus room, yellow for the upstairs walls, blue for bedroom 1 and red for bedroom 2. The windows are large, sunlight floods all the rooms, when it rises from it’s nightly slumber. This was home, for many years. Two children came into to the world into this house. Tears were shed, laughter was shared and love was realized, in the most sincere, genuine way.

I’m 20 years old. I’ve fallen in love for the first time in my entire life. This was home. This love, this spark. The day began and ended with this love. The kind that wraps your soul and leaves you burning for more. It was within his house, and his arms, that I found myself home. Accepted, encouraged. Loved. It satisfied my soul in an indescribable way. Two years later, home left. Packed it’s bags in search of something new. Someplace different. One year later, I left with it. Broken down by disappointment and personal resentment. His best, was not good enough, and it broke my heart. Home became something different then.

I’m 23 years old. I’m in a white bed with purple sheets. In my mothers house. The same house as before. New fence, no more peeled paint. New cupboards, same floor. We sit outside and share cigarettes under the moon. Faces dark in the night. The sound of my mothers voice carries me to the feeling of home. It’s back again. Although my sadness still rests within my heart and my belly, I know I’m home. Again. For the 10th or 11th time. I’ve found it again. It may leave, and if it does, I’ll follow it, in a never ending search.

Home. Where we all come to at the end of the day. The sound of someone playing the piano, the smell of coffee. Lemon water. Books. Laughing children, the sound of the bell on a bike. The smell of a breeze that’s travelled many miles. Soft music, funny sitcoms. Peace, calm and contentment. It is what it is, and it will always be.