Subtle Shift — 100 WW Week 84

Title:  Subtle Shift
Source:  100 Word Wednesday: Week 84
Word count: 100 words

Image by Bikurgurl

It was hot. Summer held us in its sweaty grip, but there was something else, the heat was not as oppressive and sweltering, summer’s grip seemed less intense. A haze settled over the brilliant blue sky, cloaking the light, so subtle at first, we didn’t notice the change. The haze morphed into clouds, hinting at rain.

This morning in my new dorm room, I put sweaters, long-sleeved shirts, and wool socks in the back of closets and drawers before donning a tee-shirt and joining my friends for a campus tour and an iced coffee. The prediction for the future: change.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Daily Quote

If you research the benefits of expressive writing and meditation, you will find the lists are similar. Studies show the activities both lower blood pressure, reduce stress, improve focus, relieve pain, improve sleep, increase happiness and helps build connections with other. An impressive list and great reasons to write. Hey, throw in a few minutes of meditation and you might find you have superpowers.

Does your writing give you any noticeable benefits?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The Cabin

Photo credit: erik-edgren on VisualHunt.com / CC BY

It was three hundred miles and a five-hour trip if they didn’t stop.  Billy had been driving all night, and he was tired. He had worked a full day before heading home to pack, grab Atilla and meet Junior. Billy should not have been surprised when Junior said he hadn’t eaten all day. He said he was starving and needed to eat before they got on the road. Billy laughed since Junior never missed a meal. It was midnight before they were on their way out of town.

The sun was rising, and Billy yawned and rubbed his eyes. He turned onto the gravel road that led to the cabin. He rubbed his eyes again not sure if his eyes were blurry from lack of sleep or if it was mist floating over the half-melted snow and ice that coated the road.

His companions had been a little help with keeping him awake. Atilla curled in a ball in the back seat and fell asleep not long after they left. Junior rode shotgun his bulk smashed against the passenger door and window, the seatbelt cut across his chest and his mouth gaped open as he snored softly.

Billy nudged Junior in the ribs.

“Hey. Junior. Wake up.”

Junior smacked his lips and burrowed deeper into the corner.

“Junior wake up.”

“Wa?” Junior snorted, yawned and shifted in his seat. “Where are we?”

“Almost there.”

In the back seat, Atilla stretched and shook setting the tags on his collar jingling.

“Oh, good. It must be time for breakfast. I’m hungry.”

Atilla pushed his head into the front seat, sniffing at Junior and Billy.

“Junior, you’re always hungry.”

“I’m a growing boy. Gotta feed a growing boy.”

Atilla shoved his nose into Billy’s face and licked him.

Junior pet Atilla’s head. “Looks like Atilla’s hungry too.”

Billy stopped the truck in front of the cabin.

“Bring the bags in. There’s food in the cooler and the two boxes. It’ll be enough for the weekend.”

Billy opened his door and Atilla pushed and clawed his way over the top of Billy and shot out the door.

“Jez, Atilla. Can I get out of your way? You brute.”

“That dog thinks he’s a lot smaller than he is,” Junior laughed.

They both pulled bags from the bed of the truck and carried them into the cabin.

“What about the crates?” Junior asked.

“I’m exhausted. I need a few hours of sleep and no one’s gonna bother them. Atilla,” Billy’s voice dropped. “Atilla. Guard the truck.”

“So, you know where we’re gonna bury them?”

“Junior,” Billy scowled and walked toward the cabin.

“But, Billy…”

“Tonight, Junior. Besides, I thought you were hungry.”

Junior stared at the two crates in the truck bed and scratched his head. Atilla started back at Junior, twisting his head to one side and growled. Junior hesitated then followed Billy into the cabin.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Daily Quote

Hey, baby, we are cooking with gas! I feel like a short-order cook, stirring this pot, tasting the sauce, flipping one over, adding a pinch of salt and serving it on a platter. A half a dozen short stories, multiple flash fiction pieces and a novel in various stages of development, each needing attention. It’s a balancing act, timing is everything.

How do you know when your story is finished?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Facing Fear — FFfAW Challenge

Title:  Facing Fear
Source: Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers – Week of 08-14 through 08-20-2018
Word count:   170 words

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Ted Strutz. Thank you, Ted!

What was she doing here?

Diana pulled her car into the parking lot and shifted into Park. A ferry approached the launch and cars waited to load. Diana’s hands trembled, and she breathed in ragged gasps.

Why had she agreed?

It was her therapist’s idea. She insisted Diana confront her fears and leftover emotions from the accident that were controlling her life. It sounded rational in the therapist’s office.

How was this going to help her?

They called it a freak accident. The water was choppy the day she drove onto the ferry. She was the first car in line. The ferry lurched and the truck behind her rear-ended her, hard, causing her car to catapult into the bay. She remembered trying to escape, water filling the car and the sky disappearing as she sunk under the waves. She didn’t remember being rescued.

When would she get past this?

She realized she didn’t need to relive boarding the ferry to face her fears. Diane turned the car and headed home.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Violante’s Metamorphosis

Photo on Visualhunt.com

Violante planned to perform the familiar centuries-old ceremony. As the decades passed she found the ritual was becoming harder to complete. It wasn’t the ritual itself, but the preparation that taxed her. Things were easier in earlier times, technology and progress impeded her ability to make the ritual work.

She sighed wishing for simplicity, the old times and her sister’s comradery. They had become as rare as the magical walnut tree. Now, she worked alone. The night arrived, and she and her pets walked the moonlight path.

Under the walnut she felt the power it held and said the ancient chants, clouds gathered, and the old gods walked with her. They anointed Violante with oil, released the frail body that cursed her existence, raised her in the rays of a new sun. The transformation complete, the physical link to her life severed, she stepped into her new beginning.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Daily Quote

Most creative exercises are performed alone. We pour heart and soul into our art and hope it’s good enough. So, when it comes time to release our darlings the thought can be daunting. Our darlings are perfect and precious, and others may be harsh critics. We can internalize a judgment of our work and construe it as a judgment of ourselves. If we are lucky, we have a host of family and friends to bolster us when we doubt and encourage us when we want to quit.

Who is on your cheer squad? Who encourages you to “go on”?

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Fade — 3 Line Tales, Week 132

From Sonya’s 3LineTales at Only100Words.
You can find the original prompt here. Thank you, Sonya.

photo by Khürt Williams via Unsplash

The day played on a continuous loop reserved for her mind only.

Brilliant flashbacks fluttered past reflecting ghosts from other days.

Grains of sand slipped through the hour glass stealing the memory frame by frame.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Yu and the Yellow Dragon

Photo credit: Carrie Kellenberger I globetrotterI on Visualhunt / CC BY

Stories of Gonggong and the Great Floods were Yu’s first memories. By the time he was four, he could recite the tale. Gonggong was a powerful giant red dragon and the god of water. Zhurong the god of fire desired to be king of the gods. Zhurong challenged Gonggong to a battle. The two fought, destroying towns and villages, devastating the land in their wake. Zhurong won. Gonggong was ashamed of his failure. His shame turned to an uncontrollable rage, and he smashed a mountain releasing the great floods.

For years Yu watched his family and neighbors battle the water god. Whenever they appeared to be winning Gonggong laughed and sent floodwaters to destroy their crops and the homes and villages they had rebuilt.

Determined to save his people, Yu vowed to stop the Great Floods. On his quest, he met a yellow dragon and Yu convinced him to help. Together they devised a plan, but they needed the black turtle for the plan to work.  Yu and the yellow dragon searched for the black turtle until they found him. Yu told the story of his people and their suffering, and the black turtle agreed to help them in their mission. The plan worked, and they stopped the floods. Yu’s family and neighbors returned to their homes and a grateful people proclaimed Yu as their king

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer