Three Things Inexplicable About Love

Friday, June 28, 2013

Trifextra: Week Seventy-Four

This weekend we are asking you to play around with the following quote:

Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.
–Henry JamesWe want you to follow the same general structure of the above quote.  Feel free to change the subject–tell us what’s important about coffee or houseplants or whatever you’d like.  Or else change up the modifier–instead of telling us what’s important, tell us what’s sexy or overrated or pernicious.  Your last three lines should closely echo James’s, giving us the same answer three times.

 

Three things are inexplicable about my love for him. First, that I love him. Second, that I love him. Third, that I love him.

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Leaf Litter

Daily Prompt: No Longer a Mere Mortal

June 29, 2013

You’ve imbibed a special potion that makes you immortal. Now that you’ve got forever, what changes will you make in your life? How will you live life differently, knowing you’ll always be around to be accountable for your actions?

[http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/06/29/daily-prompt-mere-mortal/]

I shuddered. Looking at the overcast sky, it made me wonder whether I really did want to be here forever. I walked down to the wharf where the cold ocean was beating against the city defenses. It was a gloomy morning, and I couldn’t help but relive my whole life in my head, thinking of all life’s problems, all my problems. Tug. I frowned, looking at my feet; they were caught in a tangle of seaweed. I tried to step neatly out of it and failed. Bending down, mentally rolling my eyes in annoyance, I tried to extricate my feet from the plant. But what I touched was certainly not seaweed – cold and hard, my shivering fingers scraped against a raggedly cut piece of plastic – it looked like half-full garbage bag. Indignant I wondered why anyone would ever mar the beauty of the ocean with (literally) garbage, thinking of all the Discovery documentaries I’d watched, all those otters and dolphins and turtles being choked to death. The next generation was gonna have a lot to deal with. Suddenly, I sucked in a gasp. No, not them. Me. I was going to have a lot to deal with. Pursing my lips, I kicked the plastic trashbag further out of the water to appease my conscience, before hurriedly leaving the spot. The sight of the ocean always made me think too much. Heading back down the road again, I decided I had better send the new couple next door a welcoming gift. And stop dumping leaf litter over in their yard. Cringe. I’d be seeing them for a while.

Paula Deen’s Mistake

Daily Prompt: No, Thank You

June 22, 2013

If you could permanently ban a word from general usage, which one would it be? Why?

[http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/06/22/daily-prompt-no/]

The first thing that popped into my mind on seeing this was that I’d love to ban a few racial slurs. I happened to click on this link [http://www.buzzfeed.com/jtes/heres-paula-deens-apology-for-using-the-n-word]  today when it came up on my Facebook feed as I was scrolling.

The article and the video only mention that Paula Deen, someone noteworthy in her field, had used a certain racial slur, and was under media fire for it; also  her contract was not going to be renewed. Although I was dismayed by the fact that people still use racial slurs in this day and age, I couldn’t figure out why there had been such a strong reaction to it that it became Upworthy-worthy until I read the copy of the legal papers at the bottom of the page.

The brief talks about the blatant and, frankly, disgusting sexism and racism that was shown to a Ms. Jackson during her tenure as manager at a restaurant under Deen. The description of the verbal, mental and physical assault of Jackson made me shudder and feel dirty; dirty because I am a part of the same human race that both perpetuates such acts and allows them to continue unchecked. I admit that prejudice is sometimes inherited, and that I am lucky to have grown up in surroundings that permit free thinking and encourage equality, but I believe there comes a point beyond which no prejudice can account for our mistreatment of our fellow beings, human or otherwise, on Earth.

I strongly encourage anyone and everyone reading this to please have a look at the copy of the legal complaint I have mentioned above. We may not all be in a position to help out those being harassed, but we can at least attempt to remain aware of their struggles; if knowledge is power, and with great power comes great responsibility, then surely to remain ignorant is to willfully shirk responsibility?

Clueless at Goodbye

Your Daily Theme for June 21
 
Goodbyes
People handle goodbyes differently. Some prefer celebrations. Some prefer sentimental recollection. Some prefer quick “I’ll see you soon”s.
Write a scene in which your character is saying goodbye to someone or something he/she cares about.

 

She walked over to her laptop and opened her email. The email from Figment said that this was to be the last Daily Theme. Cradling her head in her hands, she wondered what she could possibly write about in a hundred words that could possibly do justice to what their prompts had done for her. She promptly shut down the laptop. Clueless. After dinner, she hesitantly reopened the email, and, looking at it, she instantly knew what she would do. She opened up word and typed out her first sentence: She walked over to her laptop and opened her email.

This is it

WRITE NOW PROMPT FOR JUNE 21, 2013

He took a step and heard a dull, crunching sound beneath his foot.

[http://todaysauthor.wordpress.com/2013/06/21/write-now-prompt-for-june-21-2013/]

Looking down, he nudged the offending dead mouse out of the way with his hiking boots. He couldn’t afford to be squeamish right now. He squeezed the tip of his boot further into the crevice in the rock, and continued sliding sideways, step by step by careful step. He needed to find the next handhold, and fast. The water rose beneath him, eddies swirling, waves of water dashing against the rock. All it would take was another couple of minutes before it swallowed him up whole.

Gulping, he kept shuffling along the ledge until he found a shelf he could latch onto. It was halfway between where he was now and the top of the cliff. He strained his arm to reach it. The tips of his first and second fingers just barely brushed it before slipping due to sweat. Now he was nervous. He looked down. Barely a minute left. The soles of his boots were wet now.

He stretched in earnest now, almost jumping in desperation. Latching on to the ledge, he pulled himself up, but only barely. From here on it was easier; grabbing ledge after ledge of rock, he hoisted himself upwards until he was almost out of danger. Alan’s head peeked out over the edge.

“Help me!” he called out frantically. “The water’s rising too fast; I won’t make it!” The waves were licking his knees now.

Alan looked down at him, motionless for a moment. Then something behind his eyes shifted, and he leaned over, extending a hand. “Grab my hand, Jared.”

Visibly relieved, Jared reached out and put his hands in Alan’s. “Okay, pull me up.”

No response.

“I said okay, pull me up!” Jared repeated, louder this time. The water had reached his waist, and was steadily rising, inch by inch.

“You should’ve listened to me when I told you to stay out of my business, Jared,” said Alan finally. “I’m sorry.” He loosened his grip, as Jared looked up in horror. “Alan, NO!”

But it was too late. Falling backwards, his feet lost their hold on the slippery rock. Scrambling to find his footing again, he came up to the surface, trying to keep afloat. Scrabbling at the wall of rock, trying to hold on, his mind blanked out in sheer panic. This is it.

Then he saw the rocks cascading down from the top of the cliff. He was too far gone to even hurl profanities anymore, or even to resist. This is it. He felt himself surrender to the water.

__________________________

He sucked in his breath, choking on the water.

“Thank God, you’re awake,” Alan heaved a sigh of relief placing the empty glass of water on the ground. “Hurry up, we’re leaving in fifteen minutes – the mountains await!” He grinned.

Jared heaved an enormous sigh of relief. “No, I think I’ll pass. You guys carry on.”

“Sure?” Alan asked, eyebrows furrowed. “Well, suit yourself. We’re going from around the lake, in case you decide you want to come.” He turned and headed for the door of the tent.

“Alright,” Jared said quietly. “Oh, and Alan?” Alan turned back questioningly.

“I’m sorry for getting you in trouble with the guys last night. I should’ve known where to draw a line.”

Alan smiled. “Hey, happens to the best of us. Now I gotta hurry up or I’ll be late. See you later!”

Jared waved at Alan as he ran out to join the others. He walked up to his mirror and looked at his face, ashen from his nightmare. This is it. He ran over to the entrance to pull on his hiking boots.

Red and Gold

Your Daily Theme 

for June 20
 
Opening Line
I snatched the mask from his face. “You?! It was you all along?!”
 
Use this line as inspiration for a short story or poem.
He smiled and took my hands in his. “Of course. I wondered how long it would take you to recognize me.”

“But…,” I spluttered. “This doesn’t make sense – we’re from different universes.”

“So?” Still that serene smile, constant as ever.

“How are you here?” I asked softly, looking up at his worn face.

“You needed me.”

I swallowed. “Will you…can you stay?”

“As long as you need me,” he said. “I’ll stay as long as you remember me.”

“That, I will.” I gingerly touched his scar. “Always.”

I woke up to the brilliant red and gold sunrise. Thank you.

Link to my piece on Figment:

http://figment.com/books/659901-Red-and-Gold

 

Learning to Use the Remote

Daily Prompt: Moment of Kindness

June 20, 2013

Describe a moment of kindness, between you and someone else — loved one or complete stranger.

[http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/daily-prompt-kindness/]

Almost ten years ago, I embarked on my saddest flight journey ever. I was leaving behind my life and people I loved, and I felt lost and as if everything had been wrenched from me, although I didn’t know how to put it in words at the time. My travelling group had an odd number of people, and, with my luck, I happened to be the one assigned to sit alone. Stewing in the aisle seat, not my seat of preference, anger, hurt and frustration welled up inside me. Abandoned.

The flight had one of those television screens built into the back of the seat in front, so I pulled out the remote and tried to find something to watch. But with my luck, guess what? I couldn’t figure out how to make it work. The frustration increased, and I’m not sure I would have been able to stop myself from breaking down if what happened then hadn’t happened.

“Can I help you?” the passenger beside me asked. Needless to say, I gratefully accepted his help and learned how to navigate the remote and the television. Just then, I got a call from the rest of my travelling group. They’d arranged for a place for me next to them.

From what I remember, my co-passenger was Hispanic and in his late twenties. Probably just another guy on just another flight. But he was more than he will ever know to me that day. I still think of him with gratefulness. It’s amazing how something as simple as helping someone out with a remote lingers in people’s memories. He didn’t have to do it, but he did. It wasn’t a huge favor, nor did it right all the wrongs in my life; indeed, it didn’t better my situation at all. But it made me smile. It eased the sting a little bit and reminded me that there is still good in this world, although (again) I couldn’t have put this into words at the time, nor am I sure I even understood why it made me feel better. But it did.

So, Man Who Helped Me, if you happen to be reading this, know that what you did for me that day I deeply appreciate. I hope I have done/will be able to do, for others, what you did for me.

Love Until Injustice Do Us Part

Daily Prompt: Tagline

June 19, 2013

Often, our blogs have taglines. But what if humans did, too? What would your tagline be?

[http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/06/19/daily-prompt-tagline/]


Like everyone else in the world, I have my moods, and different parts of me surface around different people. Still, there are a few basic traits that I carry with me into every setting and scenario, and I’m guessing that’s a safe way to define the basic parameters of my personality and design a tagline. So here goes: I would like to believe that I am open-minded and give others the benefit of the doubt as far as is reasonable. I also tend to be open – I will tell you “I can’t tell you”, but I will not lie, whence springs my great dislike for hypocrisy and injustice. And, as loath as I am to admit it, I can forgive just about anything, but once my limits of forgiveness have been crossed, I detach myself. I will still care, but not allow myself to depend on the person concerned anymore. So, my tagline?

 

love until injustice do us part

A Symphony in a Breath

Your Daily Theme  [Figment]

for June 18
 
It’s Only Natural
 
Get inspired by nature, and build a poem or story around something from the natural world. It could be something as majestic as a mountain, or as simple as an acorn you found in your backyard.

Stepping out

Of self-imposed quarantine

Something seemed

A little bit different.

The air was like frigid water

Thrown in my face.

It tasted like mint strips

Melting on my tongue.

It smelled like grass,

Freshly mown and alive

With the crystal-clear water

It was fed.

It felt like every cell in my body

Went from flaccid to

Kool-Aid refreshed turgid

In the time than it took

For me to draw a breath

Like water from a well

Or a painting

With ice blue, lime green

Lavender and yellow.

So there is something you can’t get

On the internet

After all.

 

Link to my original piece on Figment:

http://figment.com/books/658938-A-Symphony-in-a-Breath

 

Utter Lack of Ability

Daily Prompt: Might As Well Jump

June 18, 2013

What’s the biggest risk you’d like to take — but haven’t been able to? What would have to happen to make you comfortable taking it?

[http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/06/18/daily-prompt-jump/]

I wrote this in “haibun” form, something I have only recently discovered, thanks to this blogger’s page and competition right here: http://yepirategunn.weebly.com/2/post/2013/06/ligo-haibun-challenge-1406-2106.html.

————————————-

I am one of those people who have two left feet. Not the kind that say it out of modesty, mind you – I am absolutely, utterly, horrendously incapable of dancing. To add to that, I’m decidedly overweight as well, making it less cute if I blunder around, tires bulging, than if, say, Cameron Diaz or Enrique Iglesias did.

I associate dancing with passion, sexuality and whirling around in the sheer excitement of living; at least, that’s what it looks like to me when others dance. I would give just about anything to be able to dance, yet unfortunately my sense of pride keeps me from making an absolute fool of myself. Funnily enough, I believe that it’s not so much a general sense of pride holding me back as much as shame: shame for my appearance and my stark lack of ability.

I believe that if I lost weight, or if I (privately) attained a certain minimum level of proficiency in any dance form, I would gain the confidence required to dance in public.

Mistakes and missteps

Make a mockery of me.

Will I ever dance?