Posted at 2:01 am , on November 14, 2019
Merry awoke just as the first red bursts of dawn streaked through the shutters and across her white bedspread. It reminded her of blood splatter and she watched the gory hue turn to a bruise of blue and purple and finally the pure, clean brightness of a new day, disappearing into the covers. She felt a shift in the universe and tears pricked her eyes.
After dressing in her work attire of a flowing teal-blue caftan and matching head scarf, Merry exhaled deeply on the threshold of her sunroom. The crystals sparkled in the early morning sun rays and the scent of sage from last nights smudging ritual still lingered. There was no need to consult fate. The Ouija Board, Tarot cards and tea leaves would all revel the same truth: her mother was dead.
Posted at 4:43 am , on October 31, 2019
When a man gets to a certain age, it is time for him to set out on his own, or at least that is what he tried to tell himself as he readied his boat for the journey. He had been sailing these seas with his father since the day he could walk, he knew them better than he knew the land. Of course, where he was going, he would eventually leave his home waters, and that is where the test of his strength and abilities would come in.
His vessel might have been ready but it took a few more days before the winds were right for his passage. It was a warm clear night and the moon had just risen when he was awoken by the thick perfume of flowers in the air, the winds had finally shifted, it was time to go.
Posted at 1:58 am , on October 17, 2019
I’d awoken with a sore throat and a fever, so mother made me stay home. Daddy went to work and my sister left without me to walk the short distance to school with the kids from the block. I spent the morning on the couch bundled up in blankets, engrossed in one of the “Little House on the Prairie” books and sipping ginger ale through a straw from a nearby TV tray. Mother went about her daily housewife routine of making beds, starting a load of laundry, arranging the front window drape pleats, and raking the shag carpet.
After clearing my lunch of Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup and Saltine’s, mother told me that it was her turn to host the monthly book club and the ladies would arrive at 1 pm. I was to take a nap in my room and behave myself. I had no idea she read books, let alone was a member of a book club. Being in sixth grade and self-absorbed, I never took notice of what my parents did outside of what involved me.
Posted at 6:16 am , on October 15, 2019
It was spring of 1982 and I was months from high school graduation. On the horizon was a summer serving as crew on a 101 ft schooner and the beginning of college in the fall. It was also a dull and dreary day sitting in the teeny boatyard office of the marine electrician where I worked as an assistant after school.
And then he walked by. Oh. My. God. He was tall and lean and tan with mussy sun-bleached blonde hair that curled at his collar, and he had the swagger of someone who’d been at sea for a long period of time. I jumped from my stool at the workbench and peeked around the doorway to see where he was going, eyes fixed on his firm tush. There was a sailboat in the sling a hundred or so feet away and he was talking to two men examining the keel.
Posted at 5:55 am , on October 3, 2019
Elizabeth frowned at her monthly planner entry for August 15th. The heart with the number “5” inside was drawn before the new year, when things were still good. She planned on serving him with divorce papers soon and wanted to keep things amiable until then. A present was just the thing.
According to etiquette expert Emily Post, the traditional gift for fifth anniversaries should be made of wood. Although if you followed the updated modern list, silverware was the suggested token of love. Elizabeth pondered ideas from the internet.
Posted at 12:32 am , on September 5, 2019
‘There are hundreds of paths up the mountain, all leading to the same place, so it doesn’t matter which path you take. The only person wasting time is the one who runs around the mountain, telling everyone that his or her path is wrong.” ~Hindu Proverb
Prisha could see the merit in following the predetermined path her parents had so carefully laid out for her. She had just graduated magna cum laude from Cal with a business degree. Next week her father would name her general manager of the newest addition to the family hotel chain, due to open in a year.
In the meantime, she’d travel to India and meet with the matchmaker selected by her maternal grandmother. By the end of summer she was expected to be engaged, with the wedding to be held in December. They would return to America and her new husband would work for her father, learning the business to eventually take over as she was the only child and a son must inherit the dynasty. She’d manage the new hotel until she had children, then she would be a stay-home mother. Just like her mother and grandmother and every other woman in her family before her. It would be a good life.
Posted at 12:28 am , on August 22, 2019
The petite redhead sidled up to the man in uniform sitting at the far end of the bar, leaning in to showcase her ample bosum. “Hey, Sailor, buy a thirsty girl a cold drink on a hot day?”
“Sure. What are you drinking, mam?”
“Mam?! What the fuck? I’m not your mama. You can shove your drink up your ass!” she spat at him as she flounced away in a huff.
The bartender, drying glasses at the other end of the bar, gave a hearty laugh. “We got a saying around here, “Class Is As Classy Does.” Don’t mind her. Lola gets pissed off if every stranger doesn’t fall all over her. She’s harmless and decent. Get you another one?”
Posted at 3:40 am , on August 8, 2019
Tasha stood on the bow of the boat, sipping from a steaming mug of tea and watching the sun rise. Only an experienced eye could tell that a storm was brewing from the particular hue of crimson creeping across the eastern sky. There was a lot of truth in the saying, “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight; red sky in morning, sailor’s warning.”
She took great joy in attempting to read Mother Nature and Father Neptune’s moods and devoured information on weather prediction. She didn’t believe in tempting fate and always erred on the side of safety when choosing a weather window to begin a trip, but it was fun to try to second guess what was literally on the horizon.
Posted at 3:16 am , on July 25, 2019
Shortly after the babe’s first month, Aunt Agnes came for a visit and asked to take her namesake for a walk in the pram. Being a particularly cold March day, the infant was bundled in thick blankets, knit with the wool from the herd of sheep on the sprawling Irish farm. Hours passed and they didn’t return. As dusk gave in to darkness the family became worried and sent two of the older girls in search of their aunt and sister.
They looked around the neighborhood, peering in windows and tapping at doors. The town square and shops in the village were deserted; everyone had gone home to their supper. The lone general store shop-keeper that was just closing for the night told them that he had sold Agnes a full set of baby clothes and a bottle with a nipple imported from America a few weeks earlier. Agnes had stated that she was going to be caring for her goddaughter soon.
Posted at 3:42 am , on June 14, 2019
June 14, 1987
The day before …
Irritated by the heat
Swollen belly, huge boobs
The Day …
Pain beyond relief
Rush of emotion
Outside my body.
The day after …
Best job ever
Sigh of relief.
I can do this
Is always enough.
Meghan Elizabeth Ortez
June 14, 1987, 8 lbs 6 oz, 21 inches
Written for the To Live and Write in Alameda 2019 “Flash Lit February” Challenge 10. We had three days to write a poem or short story (of 500 words or less) or draw a piece of art to the theme “The Day Before” and submit.