Desolation

The building was abandoned, but that wasn’t anything new. Most of the buildings available in this town were abandoned and it really should stop surprising me, but I guess it’s because I can remember when this town was full to the brim. Every inch available within The Valley (because even now I can’t help but think of it as The Valley rather than using the name it was given) converted into something of use for the humanity that was contained within it.

But I was surprised when I found signs that no one had been there since the last time I had darkened the floors with my own shadow.

I was always surprised and not just because it was one of the few defense mechanisms I had left to keep my mind from losing what little sanity still remained hidden within its dark corners-

“Are you done?”

She jumped slightly, just managing to stop herself from toppling the chair she sat in to the ground, taking her along with it.

“Don’t do that!” she snapped once she was certain that all four legs were firmly upon the ground.

He held up his hands and backed up a few steps to appease her. “I just wanted to know how things were coming.”

She took a deep breath, “It’s coming along fine.” She tried to keep her voice even, but knew that she failed when something like sympathy crept into his eyes.

She didn’t need his sympathy or pity or whatever it was that he wanted to emote all over her. She would finish the manuscript with plenty of time before the deadline and she would finish it masterfully.

Just because she hadn’t even reached the halfway point and she was strung so tightly from stress and sugar and not seeing the sun for days, if not weeks

“Just let me know if you need a break or anything.” he commented before going to leave the room. He stopped just before he was out of sight, but didn’t turn around before saying, “Dinner should be ready in an hour or so, we’d really like it if you were able to join us.”

She said nothing, but watched as his shoulders sagged briefly before continuing on his way.

She blinked a few moments before turning back to the word document in front of her and taking up position once again.

She would finish this thing and then she’d have all the time in the world to spend with her family.

(She didn’t remember, couldn’t remember, just how much she missed them when she had so much work left to do.)

(If only she didn’t feel just as alone as her protagaonist physically was then maybe she would be able to remember just why she had started to write in the first place.)


No, this is not based on anything in real life, it’s just what came once I started typing.

This was written in response to the Light and Shade Challenge weekly challenge. I haven’t written for this challenge in quite a while for different reasons and when I decided to check it out today on an off thought I decided that this would be what I was writing today.

Behind the Class

The first time she managed to complete the assigned work she was on cloud nine. She had never managed to get this particular part of math no matter how many times she’d read through the exercises in the book or the explanations she found there. The teacher hadn’t been able to help very much because she was a substitute until they found another math teacher to cover for the suddenly retired one from the first two quarters of the year.

It was kind of embarrassing how easily everyone else picked up graphing and she hadn’t when it had typically been the other way around for most of her life.

That didn’t mean she’d given up, just that she’d tried harder at this than just about anything else she’d ever done in her life.

So when she finally got enough answers right on the graphing assignment for that week, she felt pretty justified in the permanent smile that stayed plastered to her face the rest of the day.


Inspired by the quote from the Light and Shade Challenge this week.

A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a five year old child
–Groucho Marx

Embarrassment

So often we forget ourselves
Totally lose sight of our age
Until we realize with a start
“Please forget I just did that!
I can’t believe I forgot!
Don’t look at me, cover your eyes!”
 
Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege
Anon

This was inspired by the Light and Shade Challenge.

Why Not Laugh

If we couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane
–Jimmy Buffet
Witnesses wondered
How they kept going
Yet there were nothing but smiles
 

Today I’m grateful for the ability to laugh at myself. I honestly don’t know how I would have gotten through life without it.

Check out the original Thankful Thursday or the Light and Shade Challenge for this week as they both inspired this little thought.

No Envy In Her Eyes

Star did not envy her sister even as she watched from afar. This was the life that Star had chosen just as this was the life that her sister had chosen. What worked for one half of their once whole did not work for the remaining part.

They were very different and not just in their choices.

Star didn’t need to be close enough to see the careworn look on her sister’s face nor the wrinkles acquired through laughter and sorrow. Her own face was line-free and as smooth as if she was going through puberty for the first time, though without the curse of blemishes that many teenagers lamented over. Her hair was bright, thick and full while her sister’s was thinning slightly and going grey at the temples.

The biggest difference about her sister was the joy in her face and the light in her eyes. Star smiled her own, though it was wistful.

She had no way of knowing that her sister would change so drastically when she left at the end of the day. Star didn’t know that in the weeks to come her sister would have to file for divorce and separate from her husband. She wouldn’t know that this was a facade to protect her sister and her nephews. Star didn’t know that her sister’s husband (the divorce was never supposed to be finalized in their scheme to protect their sons) would die in the following months because of corporate corruption and crime.

It was just as well that Star didn’t know any of this or she would have never left and a greater harm would have found her sister’s family.


This was inspired by the Light and Shade Challenge for this last week.

Envy can be a positive motivator. Let it inspire you to work harder for what you want.
Robert Bringle

Average Guard Soldier

It had been a long time since she had heard from anyone and she often wondered if everything was going well in other parts of the Confederation of Systems. She was tired and parts of her ached in ways that would continue for the rest of her natural life however long that may be. (She was serving in the Solar Corp during a widespread war, her life could end within the next twenty minutes or she could, somehow, survive and live another forty years)

She wasn’t set to meet up with her commanding officer until that night when her current shift was over and though it was only within the next hour or so that it would happen she still felt that it was taking longer. She had only the barest of clock-calendars as she wasn’t high up enough in her regiment to require more exact measurements of time and place even if her equipment was better than it had been when she was just a foot soldier instead of a perimeter guard. She was kind of glad that she’d received even a small promotion, being a guard meant that she didn’t have to ride off into wherever they were sending her for however long. Instead she stayed near one of the camps and kept watch on a rotating basis.

The part of the corps that were usually here were on assignment and weren’t due back until the next morning.

Now if only she could find some way to pass the time without compromising her duties. Maybe those trees near the rock cliff could give her something to do after her shift…

image: Courtesy of Wiki Commons taken by Neovitaha777 and used according to the Creative Commons Agreement

 


This little snippet of writing was inspired by the picture from the Light and Shade Challenge. Today has been a bit of a slow day for me and yet the time is going by incredibly fast.

Second Person Wonderings

You often wonder at the words that people speak, saying that they would never allow such a thing to take place when they have not only allowed it, but actively sought to bring it about. How is this helping? Is there even a point to what they are doing? Why say one thing and then do another?

It is very confusing, but then again with the life that you have lived, you have grown used to such hypocrisy. You wonder if it will ever change, this need for society to espouse one thing and yet bring about the complete opposite.

In the end, you vow to do differently and teach your children differently and hope that the future is in better hands.

Rolling in the muck is not the best way of getting clean.

–unknown


Another attempt at 2nd person POV which was inspired by the quote from the Light and Shade Challenge for this week.

Useless Instructions

“I can’t get this right!” I was tempted to pull my hair in frustration, but knew that would only make things worse.

“Was wong?”

I glanced over to my side and noticed my youngest nephew had leveraged himself up against my side on the bed and was looking at me with his huge brown eyes. I decided, ‘why not?’ and held the new flip phone out to the 20-month old.

“I can’t figure out how to work this thing.”

“Did yous wead the insructions?” he asked.

I held the little book up and nodded, “They didn’t help.”

“He’e wet me.”

I placed the just out of the box flip phone in his little chubby hand and patiently listened as he explained how to work the first cell phone that he had ever held to me.

Later I would blame my incompetence on the pain medication that I’d been prescribed after the surgery.


This little memory is brought to you by this week’s Light and Shade Challenge photo.

image: courtesy of freeimages.co.uk

 

Peace-Centered Chaos

The lake was calm which was strange because the wind was howling and the clouds surged across the sky.

But the water in front of him in the lake was as calm as a pond in an indoor zen garden.

No waves, no stirrings from beneath when the sky and land all around him was in constant turmoil.

He wondered what it said about him that there was this deep pool of motionless calm within his mindscape while the actual ‘scape all around him was in chaos.

“It is because you are chosen.”

He didn’t whirl around and demand who was there, that would be childish and more like one of his pathetic cousins.

“Yessss, this is why you are chosen.”

Again the voice was accompanied by a surge in feeling, like he could do no wrong.

The lake in front of him remained placid as the ground rumbled louder and the sky let loose a flash of lightning.

“Come with me, my child.”

He smiled as he faded from his own mindscape, the lake finally showing movement if only in changing from the peaceful color of deep blue to a grey more associated with the smog-filled pollution of an enclosed valley.

He had a Mother to save.


Inspired by the picture for this last week’s Light and Shade Challenge picture prompt.

image: courtesy of freeimages.co.uk

 

Beams in Place

The house went up slowly, the beams being placed in the exact position they would have been should the original house have never gone up in flames. The windows put in looked the same as the ones that had been shattered or warped by the heat, but they were far more energy efficient. Everything about the house looked the same way it had looked when she’d been growing up, but made with better materials wherever able.

“If you’re going to do something and you can then you should do it well.”

That was something that her father had always said. She had taken it to heart for more than just her own life choices. She had gone through college, given everything she had, which was only what she had on her towards making a better life for herself and any family that she might have later in her life.

As she gazed up at the house that she had rebuilt using the money she had earned with her degree. She placed a hand on her slightly swelling belly and smiled up at her husband as he waved down from the roof where he was assisting in putting new shingles on.


This is a little sequel thing to Rebuilding the Ruins that I wrote at the end of November. It was inspired by this week’s Light and Shade Challenge picture.