Feb 29, 2012

Write on Wednesday - Small Expectations

From Ink Paper Pen...
This week's writing prompt is:
Imagine yourself as tiny as your thumb.Where would you live? What would you do?
...and here's what I imagine would happen to me!

Small Expectations

Nobody else notices.
Not even me at first.

I mean, that's a huge serviette holder, I tell myself. HUGE.

It's one of those things, those mundane objects, so mundane that it's been chosen by a small town to be made into a giant statue in the utter conviction that no other town would care less to make a giant serviette holder.
We're home to the Giant Serviette Holder. We are unique!

So that theory lasts as long as it takes me to realise I'm analysing the Giant Serviette Holder from where I sit on the fat lip of the Giant Coffee Cup. Same town. The same cafeteria. Yep, even the same table. Home to the Giant Coffee Cup.

I'm blinking, finally, but perhaps over-staring. If you stare at something hard enough, does it just...seem awfully big?

I look down to where a bacon strip extends for half a mile, a pink undulating road crisp with boulders of salt and streaked with long, luscious gutters of fat. Surely the road less travelled, Mr. Peck. The end of the porky road, like a busted bridge, falls into nothing. Only, off the edge of a white plate.

A pudgy mountain of yellow edges the bacon road, lightly quivering, the way I should be, if it wasn't for my propensity for delayed reaction. Yes, undetectable to the standard human eye, scrambled egg does, in fact, quiver.

How did I become so small? I have a memory from the moment before, the thing I did to cause me to shrink to the size of a fake nail. But alas, for some reason the memory is too big and overwhelming to fit in my tiny brain. I have to make new tiny memories.

I remember the serviette holder. I remember the quivering scrambled egg. This is going to take a long time.

I jump down the side of the coffee cup, practically slashing my face open on the sugar grains lining the saucer. But I'm good at smelling sugar. I can remember something small and inconsequential like that. This isn't sugar.

On the table, over the edge of the amazingly not-all-that-smooth surface of porcelain I'm standing on, I see the sachet, ripped open at one end and lying there like a sleeping bag for a giant.


Who's ever put salt in their coffee? Has anyone on the planet even tried it? No, how would a caffeine addict manage that, even with the jitters of a drunken surgeon.

Well, I can't say I remember doing it. But I will say: don't ever, ever, add salt to your coffee!

Write On Wednesdays 

Feb 8, 2012

Write on Wednesday - Possessing Beauty

What a wonderful writing prompt we have this week, from InkPaperPen:

Write about a collection. Write about something you or someone you know, collects. Think about the "why" behind the collection - why is it important to collect this particular thing? How does it make the person feel to add another piece to their collection? Is the group of objects there to be seen, to be studied or simply kept together? Write a real life story or a piece of fiction. Wherever the prompt takes you...Keep your post on the short side: up to 500 words OR a 5 minute stream of consciousness exercise. Link your finished piece to the list and begin popping by the other links. Oh, and enjoy!


Beth crossed her hands neatly and rest them on her scrapbook on the table. Outside, the groundsman pruned the roses that edged the pathways. Beth could see Cherie making her way slowly, but adamantly, toward him on her walker. Beth smiled and reminded herself to look out the window again in a few minutes. She enjoyed watching their exchange.

"I'm sorry to keep you waiting, Beth. It's taking me a long time to do my rounds today."

"That's fine, Kathy." Beth beamed with love, because her patience was one of the many little gifts she gave people, and it made her feel good to give to others.

"Henry believes I have his pills mixed up again. It's made a mess of my morning." Kathy winked.

Beth smiled, knowing Henry was really a favorite with all the nurses at Dalkeith Nursing Home. "I guess we're your children."

"I wouldn't go as far as calling you all kids, but some do test me." Kathy chuckled as she rolled her eyes. "Anyway, here's the scissors and the sticky tape you asked for."

"Thanks, Kathy."

Kathy remained, watching over Beth's shoulder. Meticulously, Beth cut out an article from the morning's newspaper and taped it in a fresh page of her scrapbook.

"Who's Mary Wallace?"

"She's one of my children," said Beth. "Mary always wanted to become a judge, and she's finally been appointed. I'd like to think I played a role in helping her achieve this, but I'm proud of her just the same."

"Wow! May I see your scrapbook? Are these your children?" Kathy flipped through the pages of clippings from over the years. "They all seem so happy and successful."

"I'm proud of each and every one of them." Beth smiled and looked at her fingers as she rubbed them in her lap.
"Yes, Kathy?"
"There's about thirty people in this book. Are you... sure they're all your children?"

"Yes." Beth extended her hands so gracefully and with such conviction in her eyes that Kathy returned the scrapbook without question.

"Okay." Kathy smiled distantly, placed a hand on Beth's shoulder, and walked away.

Beth patted the new clipping down flat and closed her book. With a cheeky grin, she read the cover to herself.

Dalkeith High, class of 1975.

Then she remembered something. Beth looked out the window at the groundsman and Cherie, and began to giggle.


Write On Wednesdays

Feb 3, 2012

The Write on Wednesday Spark - The Nature of Place

This week's writing exercise from InkPaperPen:
Write about a particular natural geography, a natural place or space close to your heart. Tell us about the weather, the landform , the creatures who live there, what the place means to you and why. You can write prose fiction, poetry, non-fiction and/or a photographic narrative. You might mix the landscape with a personal story. Wherever the prompt take you...Let us peek into your place.

Nowhere's nowhere...

"Quiet, honey, it's the adults' turn to speak."
I spat the bush fly off my lips and swatted around my face. "Mum, I need to go to the toilet."
Mum looked at me, paused, and turned away. Whatever words she had, she forgot to say them. The intense afternoon sun glared at me from behind her profile, and I shifted to stay in her shadow.

Mum and Dad were speaking to an old friend. As the friend's canoe rocked in the shallows of the river behind them, my desperation grew worse.
 "When are we going back to camp, Mum?"

Camp was in the middle of nowhere on the banks of the stunning Macalister River. It might be in the middle of nowhere, but at least it had a three foot wide tent housing a portable toilet seat with a biodegradable bag hanging from it. Camp was also on a section of river where, carved into the rocks, natural water slides were coated in slimy green moss, protecting the bum of your bathers.

However, after a long drive from camp, we were in Nowhere's nowhere.

"You'll just have to go in the bushes."

My sharp huff didn't disturb the fly patrolling my chin. My eyes drifted across the rough-cut stones, up the greyish sandbanks, and to the small cliff that hedged the river. High along the ridge were the only bushes my mum could be referring to.

I set off up the cliff, climbing from grass clump to grass clump. With my hands busy clutching tufts for dear life, the best I could do to swat the flies was blink. Why couldn't we be like normal families? Why was it that our holidays involved deadly bush tics and heat stroke? Was it normal to have fork lightning blast a hole in your accomodation? I just want to go to a toilet! Why couldn't we go on an aeroplane to Noosa? It's the eighties, dammit!
I stood up and dusted the dirt from my palms and arms. 

And I forgot the flies, and I forgot my thoughts.

In front of me, long grass grew over a gentle mound in a perfect circular clearing. The trees practically hugged each other to keep a tight wall around it. In the beautiful space within, hundreds of orange Monarch butterflies flitted in the air.

I walked into the cloud of butterflies, palms up and fingers reaching. I lowered each foot carefully; I blinked to prevent them landing in my eyes. My heart filled with the level of wonder at this world that makes you feel ageless, even as a ten year old.

I remained in the giant fluttering sphere until I couldn't stand it any longer.

I really had to pee.

Laughing with joy, I crouched down on that very spot, looking up at the blue sky spotted with such brilliant, orange, brief little lives. As I pulled one of my white socks off, I decided it was the grandest toilet in the world.

Write On Wednesdays