An Event, Some Inspiration – Anything?!

Think about an event you’ve attended and loved. Imagine you’re told it will be cancelled forever. How does that make you feel? 


Thinking of an event…I feel as though this challenge isn’t fitting for me. I’m not the type of person that goes to events per se. I’m very much a homebody and it takes a good amount to get me out of the house. I’m feeling depleted and without inspiration, which is funny cause I’m in the middle of Canada’s gorgeous rocky mountains. This would the optimal place for me to have inspiration. So instead I’m going to write sorry for not producing anything – I’ll get back to my old self soon.

Love.

You Promised.

“I also thought that he was leaving the paper blank, with no description of the wardrobe’s contents, because he was too overwhelmed by desire to write without trembling.Page 29 in Ru by Kim Thuy. 


My Dearest Sophia,

I lay awake at night trembling, fingers shaking and heart racing. I long to be near you. We have 80 days left of being apart. 80 days of hard days and infinite nights. Tell me about our daughter. Is she walking yet? Has she spoken her first word? I miss her small fingers, her blue eyes. I miss her laughter echoing throughout the house. Our house. I miss our house.

It’s dark where I am. The dust layers everything, a film of lost hope. I hear the echoes of shots as I lay in my tent. The flicker of moths flying around my lamp. My bunk mate tells me about her family back home. Two daughters, about to start junior high school. She whispers to me through the layer of black. I have blisters on my feet and my hands. A rash where the strap of my helmet sits. My muscles are tired and my bones ache. All I have left with me is a photo of you and Alexandra. Holding hands, smiling at the camera. I took it before I left on my first tour. Remember? Don’t forget about me. I’ll be home soon, I promise.

Loyally,

Jake

Sophia held the letter in her hands. A tear rolled down her cheek and dropped onto the letter, smudging the words. She laid the letter on top of the coffin. She watched, out of breath, as they lowered it into the ground.

You promised…

Serially Lost; Part 2 – Serially Found

This is the second instalment of my serially lost series. The first part is found here.


In certain parts of the town, the water has rose to the tops of first floors. The fire department rode around the town on boats saving lost cats and dogs. For those that were worried – yes, they made it to our home to rescue our sweet cat, Nico. I made my way back to the city to be with my husband. I watched my television in horror as the water swept through the city as well as the town. My mother was left with two children to contend with six weeks without a home. At first they stayed with our friends and family but it proved to be too difficult with two little ones. They eventually wound up in a campground just outside our little town. In the dead heat of the summer, my mom rose weary every morning and struggled to get the kids to bed every night. She stayed away from the house – waiting to hear when it would be approved for her to return. I waited anxiously to be able to gain access to my second home again.

Once access was granted to our home again, my mom and the kids returned. Luckily, the water level had remind below the top floor. We were also lucky to find that the water at it’s peak, sat right below the electrical box. We exhaled knowing that we were lucky, and that others had it much worse. Close to all of our things in the basement were ruined. Everything had to be thrown out and replaced. We lost a lot of things when my mom returned. All of our photos, memories. Pictures that I had drawn when I was in grade school. All gone.

Why Don’t You Want Kids?!

“So, when’s the wedding?” she mused, filling the silence that my mother left behind. I response a quick one word reply. I gazed at my cellphone to appear in the middle of something to evade further questions. “Oh how fun” she replied with a forced smile. “And then? Babies?”

“Hah!” I scoffed. “I’m never having children.” She seemed confused and almost irritated at my assertion that I wanted to remain childless.

“You’ll change your mind in due time,” she insisted. But really, I won’t. And do you know what? That’s okay. The reasons I’m bound to not offer my uterus to a living parasite, are endless. It usually doesn’t matter how many I spout off to my fellow women and mothers, the responses I receive are all the same.

“You’ll change your mind.”

“It’s a biological need for women to create life.”

I even had one woman roll her eyes at me when I asserted I didn’t want children and moan, “Careful what you wish for.”

Don’t get me wrong, I love babies and toddlers alike. To be honest, I could probably spend my entire days around them. They’re hilarious and adorable and have no filter, and that’s something I respect in another human, little or not. I have 5 siblings, all under the age of 14, and I live and breathe those little fuckers. But watching both of my parents rear children (specifically two boys each) late in life, has been the best birth control I could ever ask for. Screaming fits, running noses, brutal violence between bothers, it’s not a life I’m interested in signing up for. PTA meetings, having only mom friends and begging for a night off is my idea of anti-paradise. And I promise, I’m not judging those who sign up for that life.

And the reason I don’t want kids? All the selfish ones. I want to sleep in till whenever I deem acceptable. I want to have the luxury of dropping everything and touring South America for a month. More specifically, I don’t want the commitment. I know that sounds bad, I’m wishy washy by nature, so an over 18 year commitment seems like a poor fit for me. Aside from being responsible for another human life for a solid many years, the idea of bringing a child into an overpopulated world riddled with natural disaster, war and hate propoganda makes me nauseous.

We’ve made a fundamental shift into a culture where we don’t need to procreate for the succession of our species. Taking into the consideration that our species is more or less an advanced form of cancer, it seems only natural that maybe I should take a step back from humping to save our species. We could use a bit of die off.

So, sorry to the folks who seem hell bent on changing my mind into a life filled with diapers, raw nipples and hissy fits. I’m set in my ways of being a DINK. Dual income, no kids. Forever.

(I’ll always love babies though)

The Apartment on the Fourth Floor

As a kid my mom and I moved around a lot – so it took me a few minutes to figure out where I was at 12. We lived in an old apartment. Just down the hill from my school. The building had no elevator, which made climbing up the 70’s carpeted stairs everyday was a workout. When I say 70’s, I mean 70’s. Swirls of bright orange and red. In an almost paisley pattern, it was alarming to look at. Two bedrooms. One bathroom. My mom and I lived here together for over 5 years. Our apartment was kind of a coveted place to be. See, my mom was the cool parent in town. She trusted my judgment. Since I usually took on the role of babysitter for all of my dysfunctional friends, she knew I wouldn’t get into much trouble.

The apartment was small. Fitting for the two of us, really. In our living room, only a desk, one small love seat and a TV in front of the couch. My room shared a wall with my moms. Completed with a desk, a twin bed on the floor and an overflowing bookcase – my room was a piece of heaven away from the world. This apartment was the place I laid in my mom’s bed and watched Dawson’s Creek every morning before I went to school. Where by morning I read from books and by night I read the sky. This is where I had my first love, my first joint and my first slice of euphoria. This was my home. Until we left in search of a new home.

Ali.

I’m finding that I’m becoming less and less happy with my fiction writing. So in an effort to not produce something just for the sake of completing a challenge, I’ve decided to omit day 9 and move onto day 10. I don’t want to publish anything I’m not happy with. 


As a child when we celebrated we didn’t really have a special ‘meal’ per se. Instead, my mom and I usually went to restaurants or did something fun with each other. Instead my memories of food come most strongly from being with my great-grandparents. Specifically, my great-grandmother, Alice. She was a sensational cook, and an even better card player! She’d drink all of us under the table at night, and be the first person up in the morning to cook the family breakfast. She was a beacon of light, for all of us. Our lunch times were my most fond memory. She’d make us cucumber sandwiches and orange pekoe tea and we’d sit and chat for hours. To this day I can’t smell orange pekoe without thinking of her. What a strange thing it is, to smell something and be brought back to a place so fast. During these lunches she would always regale me with the same tales from her youth. How she owned a restaurant, how she met Grandpa. It didn’t matter how many times she told me, I loved them just the same.

Throughout the day I’d snack on cheese puffs, my Grandpas favourite. There would always be a bowl on the table with bright orange crumbs layering the bottom. He always got to them faster than I did. Grandma and I would take cat naps in the veranda, after reading our books together. Her a romance novel, me, historical fiction.

For dinner, we’d have potatoes, boiled cabbage (my favourite!) and some chicken from their neighbour up the lane. She’d always bring it to Grandpa and I on diner trays, in front of our favourite chairs. Grandma sat on the couch to my left, crocheting while she chatted.

“Did I tell you about the time when I got my finger stuck in an ice cream machine?” She’d giggle.

My Grandmas passing was the first experience I had with loss. She received her diagnosis of cancer, and within 3 months she was gone. I never thought she’d ever go, she was so full of life and energy. She outdid us all and my world fell apart when she left. I’ll always remember her though. Even when I forget. I’ll always be reminded when I drink orange pekoe or have boiled cabbage. Or when I cheat at poker, don’t think we didn’t notice, Grandma!

Writing 101 – Death to Adverbs

This originally was a prompt response to a personal exercise. I am mostly happy with the way it turned out and I think it’s free of adverbs. Speak if you see any!


Paul read his wife’s diary and discovered that she had had a miscarriage. He dropped the diary between his legs in disbelief. It landed with a loud thud – the noise echoed throughout the back of his head. A miscarriage? Why? When? Why hadn’t she told him? Straining for air, Paul closed his eyes and put his head in his hand. The salt from his tears stung his eyes. He felt the warmth of his face through his fingers. His wedding ring cold on his face. Paul gathered the strength to pick up the diary and continue reading.

“It’s my fault, Paul would never forgive me.” The diary read. “It’s my fault. It’s my fault. I’m not fit to be a mother. I killed our baby.” Paul wailed an echoless cry ingot he ceiling of their house. Their childless marriage had left a void in their relationship – it engulfed them entirely. It is the dense air between them, the distraction in their love making. It surrounds them on a daily basis, like two positive magnets trying to meet, it pushed them apart.

A wave of anger swelled in this throat. He hurled the diary across the room. Making a dent in the wall, it slid down and landed face down on the floor. He notices a picture that had fallen out. It is a photo of them, on their first date. Paul remembered how he fell in love with her as soon as she slurped her pasta. She had asked the waiter to take their photo.

“For the anniversary album.” She had winked. He remembered then why he loved her. Her wit, charm and her ability to make him smile on the greyest of days. He knew now. Julie cam home hours later to find a note attached to their picture.

“It’s not your fault. Lets start our family.” She turned over the photo to find a pamphlet on adoption.