Of Wandering Minds

#VSS very short story

Wednesdays are short story days. I’ll pick a tweet from  my twitter #VSS archive and expand on it…

The house was silent, in the way a vacant house was empty. My footsteps echoed long and loud as if someone else walked beside me in the empty corridors and I felt like a trespasser intruding on the silence. The movers had finished and all the furniture was on its way to my new home. I was simply doing a final check to see if anything had been left behind.

Looking at the floor you could tell where the furniture had been, spots that didn’t quite shine as the rest of the floor, pale spots where the floor polish never reached. Even on the walls, if you looked carefully, you could see where picture frames had hung and one was still there. Of course someone had forgot to take down the one in the living room.

beaton Family portrait

Our family portrait hung above the mantle. The five of us smiling, a Kodak moment frozen in time. Was that the last time we had all been together, maybe, maybe not but it was definitely the last we had all had posed for a family portrait. Too bad we had not done this more often.

Standing on the tips of my toes I could reach the portrait but could not quite get it to unhook from the wall, I wished I was a little bit taller. Looking around for something to give me a boost I found a broken stool with three legs instead of four, which was probably why it had been left behind too.

I balanced on it precariously, unbidden images flashed in my mind; me falling, breaking limbs, picture frame shattering, glass shards embedding deep and warm liquid pouring out and then, and then coldness; followed by unending darkness. I retrieved the picture with no mishaps except a slight shortness of breath and sweaty palms shakimg ever so little…….

Talk about an overactive imagination I thought to myself as I wiped beads of sweat from my brow. There was nowhere to sit so I rested on the wall and slid to the floor, knees tucked to my chest cradling the family portrait, I could see my faint reflection in it its glass. Earlier I had called for a taxi to pick me and I still had close to an hour to go; I had nothing but time on my hands. Time and a couple of sandwiches, crumbs fell to the floor as I unwrapped the foil, remembering I hadn’t had breakfast, moving is such a stressful business………

I felt movement along my leg and casually flicked away the annoying insect, then I felt another and another and another. That’s when I looked down and saw them. Looking at me with more than an insect awareness, ignoring the crumbs on the ground. Seemed as if they were gauging my weight, checking to see, if they could drag me underground, to their lair, as they would the discarded food crumbs. They were all around me, the ants, standing there, in a coordinated formation, almost military…….

troop of ants

The word troop came to mind.

 

#Flashfiction

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Of Coffee, April Fools, Short Stories and Fathers

If you were having coffee with me I would say thank you for joining me, how have you been? I have been good cheers to the New Month, hello April what do you have in store for us? Good things I hope.

So did anyone play any good April Fools pranks on you or did you do the pranking?

I didn’t prank anyone but I did write a Very Short Story #VSS called April’s fool:

He used to be the court jester, till he clowned his way into queen April’s heart. No one ever called him King only April’s Fool….

For those who follow my twitterverse account @Beatonm5 you might have noticed I tweet a lot using that hashtag #VSS.. I have been asked many times what this means  it simply stands for a very short story. Twitter and its 140 characters per tweet makes you adept at the fine art of brevity of expression and challenges your creative skills to write a story. If you have a second you can find my #VSS tweets by clicking HERE. If you tweet micro-stories on twitter do let me know and I will check it out and if you haven’t you must try it, it’s also a good way to come up with writing ideas or a story to develop further, for those moments you think you have writer’s block.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you I attended my first mass today. Before you look at me with that scandalous expression it was not my first mass but rather it was the first mass I have been to where the priest in attendance is a family member. He got ordained as a priest last year but time and circumstance had not made it possible for me to attend any of his services. It was quite weird, watching him, deliver sermons and perform sacred rites of communion with ease of someone who has been a priest all his life. It’s also weird how once, he was my young brother and now I call him Father, he looks older. He looks like someone you can confess your sins to, without being judged and expecting him to mete out a fair penance of Our Fathers and Hail Marys, someone who could officiate your wedding, baptise your little ones and when you laid there on your deathbed someone who would perfom the last rites and finally bury you and into the   hole ye goes… Someone you could call Father.

I remember attending his ordination ceremony officiated by an Apostolic nuncio who is the Pope’s emissary so it was quite an honour. The community decided to welcome him by bestowing upon him the gift of a totem, he was declared of the Moyo (Heart) Clan. I am fairly sure protocol was creatively circumvented and he accepted ever so graciously. He thanked the family for our generosity in letting go one of ours to a greater calling. The ordination of a priest, it feels bittersweet like part marriage and part funeral… Christ being the bridegroom: does that make the priest, the bride? but unlike a wedding you are not gaining in-laws as such, but losing your relation to the church … imagine calling your own son father I guess that’s why priest end up in parishes far from their home and family to prevent awkward encounters and broken hearts just like at any wedding.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell I just got my few seconds of fame from a YouTube video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcmwF7_6Ljo

where I got a shout out from Leeann who I featured on my blog The Girl In the Red Dress ( she has a YouTube channel and shares recipes with Conde a parrot I do believe) anyhow someone watched the clip and is now a new follower on my blog, I would have mentioned them by name but, they are internet shy, so I’ll just say I hope you read this wherever you are…

Cheers, April Showers and May Flowers

~B

PS speaking of pranks, and April I am still trying to figure out if this notice from the Zambia Police is real or not, if you do please tell me so…..

police.jpg