So many options are placed in front of me each day. Too many options often bring on an indecision that feels like quicksand. When the feeling of sinking sets in, I don’t quit but I quit moving. I quit being so active and making so much noise. Most important is to quit being indecisive. Look out for the quicksand and steer clear of stepping into it. I can’t quit the quicksand once I’m in it and I can’t quit life. Quitting isn’t an option.
It seemed as if walking through the cabin lead to the same spot by the entrance. The entryway opened into a bright room with large windows with sheer curtains. The light reflected by the snow made it difficult to see outside. On the right, an open door lead to the dining room. The room was dark and the long table covered with an oversized tablecloth felt uninviting. A few glasses were left on the table making the room smell musty and bitter.
Ana Maria Macra
At least once an hour he tried his cell phone for service and was unsuccessful in finding any. He was almost at a point in the trail where he was going to lose sight of the smoke from Jammie’s fire, but he was confident in Jammie’s ability to handle the day and a night if needed by himself. He was not injured, just stuck.
When you open the door, the beautiful scent hits you immediately – the combination of crushed pine, hot chocolate, cinnamon, and home – the inexplicable scent that sets you to ease immediately and brings you back to memories of when you were young.
Its gables pointed self-righteously. Its arches ogled the sinners walking past in wide-eyed disbelief.
The house had a personality all its own; just ask the neighborhood kids. The little brats. I secretly watched them walking by, stealing glances from the corners of their beady little eyes, ready to bolt at the slightest movement or sound from inside my walls. Most crossed the street, studiously ignoring us as they strolled by humming nameless tunes. That Tommy Bales was bold enough to step inside my gate – look what that got him, damn fool. Had to get themselves a new paperboy after that. Of course, that’s what keeping a dragon on the roof did to the place.
Once alone, it is now surrounded by friends of all shapes and sizes. Together they drift around birds and treetops, looking for a soft place to land. This one landed on the nose of a horse as it looked solemnly on. Another one landed on the tip of an evergreen, happy to meet new friends.
The family moved on down the road, and Ginger watched them turn into the house’s driveway. She could swear the house was standing up straighter.
Sarah Maury Swan
The ship sank close to shore. Cargo and personal items littered the beach. High tide would clean it up. The cart would need to be loaded before that. The work would be too difficult once the tide came in. Prying the planks from the ribs was a challenge. The boat was either not very old or very well maintained. The barnacle were sharp so best to keep that side down until the boards can be scraped. ‘Yes, this is fine, tight-grain wood’ she thought gently floating each board to the beach. It will make a strong house.
The gothic style house was alive, feeding off the energy of loneliness emitted from the occupants. It did so in completeness. Outside its structure were drugs, alcohol, and violence. Inside, the house protected the occupants and drained away their loneliness like a vampire. One day, someone posted a sign declaring the house historic.
The house had a personality all its own, a lean to the left, gaps in the front, tarpaper showing through like missing teeth, shingles bald in spots, the porch supported by a caned column, an elder.
It shall begin and end with this bitter coldness which, in the end, is never metaphorical.
Quit? Don’t you dare. You exist for many reasons. Keep moving. Rest but don’t quit.
That corporate entity we all love to hate has just taken the battle for our consuming souls up a notch. My sleepy little village had been transformed overnight into a holographic representation of itself with one important difference… any item in any store that my gaze lingered on, or I happened to touch, was immediately dropped into to my Amazon shopping basket. Ok, fine, I think when I realize what’s going on as my device on my wrist starts to ping.
Unlike Dr. Z’s Mulberry Street my Main Street had only twelve billboards hawking, eleven shoppers gawking, ten lights not blinking, nine ladies chatting, eight trash bags blowing, seven mufflers farting, six alkies drinking, five children loose, four waving cops, three blue lights, two dead cats, and a sentence with a dull end.
There, the arches – gray stone showing through their sides but a thick white cap at the top, like they’d sprouted a head of ancient hair, growing taller and more eccentric by the minute.
“I wouldn’t call it magic, exactly,” I said. “It was more of an inexplicable occurrence.”
The old woman nodded her head. “Magic is strongest at times of grieving,” she said. “Tell me about the magic.”
“It’s not something I’ve told anyone else. I’ve been afraid people will think I was crazy or imagining things. You know, because of the grief.”
“It’s okay, child. You can tell me. Telling it will take away the fear. All that will be left is the magic.”
For now I’ll stay. As soon as I decide to stop trying for the stratosphere again I crystallize and start to fall as a snowflake. The most unique form of water. No two are alike. I wouldn’t be the same the next time I came to be a snowflake. Maybe that was the way to keep surviving this cycle. Cherish the uniqueness where you find it. Enjoy floating gently down, or being driven by a strong wind.
“O.K. Whose job was it to take care of the booze?”
“Same person that was supposed to take care of the lodge reservations?”
“No, she was supposed to take care of the luggage! Where are we anyway?”
“I don’t know! Ask Miss ‘Leave-It-To-Me-I-Never-Get-Lost’ over there, because, well she never gets lost!”
“Well, Miss Leave…..”
“Oh, shut up! Whaa! I’m lost and you are too! And it’s snowing harder…where’s that booze? I’m stopping, waiting until a snowplow hits us and takes somewhere warm!”