My Greatest Sorrow – Warm up Exercise

Photo via Visualhunt

Photo via Visualhunt

Birth, life, death. It is inevitable. The circle we all know. Some accept, and some, fixated, rage against the ultimate end. Two tiny points on a line, the first known and celebrated, the other full of mystery and conjecture.

The space they occupy is minuscule compared to what lies between, what defines those who are remembered. Some do much with little. Some do nothing with more than they deserve.

My time feared death. Conservative and careful. Each move measured, calculated to cheat Death. Others took crazy risks, scaled mountains, ran rapids, dared Death to come for them. Death sometimes took one who was too bold, but more often they cheered with exuberance, giddy, exhilarated and joyful. Feelings I would never know. Those Death took were exalted, praised and became legend. Their stories told and retold for generations, for millennium.

I sneered at their foolishness until the day Death came to my door. I pleaded with Death, begged for more. Death paused. More? I nodded yes. But you are already dead, was Death reply. No one attended my funeral, no one seemed to notice. Angels only weep for those who lived.

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Keep on Writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The Hermit — 100WW

Image Credit: Olivier Guillard

Image Credit: Olivier Guillard

Title: The Hermit

Source: 100 Word Wednesday: Week 7

Word count: 100 words

Once, they came to check on her. But no one had come for many years now. Not since the time when ashes rained from the sky obscuring the light of the sun. There were others, of course.

Today the woods were quiet. She stepped out of the cabin to see a young woman staggering toward her. She was not one of them.

Looking up and seeing the cabin she stopped and began to sob.

“Please, I am alone. No one follows. Will you help?”

She squinted at the young woman to see if she lied. Satisfied, she beckoned her forward.

­­­­­­­­­­­­______________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Lost and Found– FFfAW

This week's photo prompt is provided by Dawn Miller for our photo prompt this week!

Photo prompt is provided by Dawn Miller for our photo prompt this week!

Title: Lost and Found

Source: Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers – Week of February 21, 2017

Word count: 115 words

The roller bag bumped into her leg as she pulled it to a stop next to the railing. She stared at the crowd below, as they hurried to their destination. A tear slid down her cheek.

She had looked for another option, a way out. This was the decision, but it wasn’t much of a choice. No going back, only forward. But forward to where? She looked up hoping for inspiration.

Suddenly, she knew. The answer couldn’t be planned, she needed to improvise. Do something that was out of character, something she would never do, something no one would expect.

Wiping the tears away, she grabbed the bag and headed outside to the taxi stand.

__________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Cut

photo by Clem Onojehungo via Unsplash

photo by Clem Onojehungo via Unsplash

The chance of a lifetime required the performance of a lifetime.

A commitment of heart, soul, everything that was, distilled to its essence.

The hope, the dream, is now in the can.

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

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The Gift – Warm Up Exercise

Photo credit: Heredero 3.0 via Visualhunt /  CC BY-NC-ND

Photo credit: Heredero 3.0 via Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-ND

I looked at the fuzzy box she had laid in my hands. It was the color of dried blood, old and grimy. I imagined that it must carry some disease.

“Open it,” She croaked.

Cringing, I pried the two halves apart. Nestled in more blood-red fabric lay something I had never seen. It was smooth and shiny black. Gold bands of various sizes, some decorated, some plain, circled the blackness.

“What is it?”

She snatched it from the box. With both hands, she gave it several twists before pulling the two ends apart. One end was a hollowed-out tube. It concealed an elaborately carved gold point which was attached to the end of other half of the black stick.

I pulled back, frightened by the deadly looking thing. I watched as she caressed it, fitting the hollowed-out tube on top of the end opposite from the gold point. She began to roll it in one gnarled hand as if she had done this all her life.

“What does it do?”

She sat silently. I had seen her like this before. There was no point in saying anything else until the memory that held her mind, released her.

“Do you remember? Syngraféas.”

I couldn’t tell if she was talking to me or her memory.

“You made me read all his stuff,” I answered anyway.

“This belonged to him. And to a long line of Mór Guardians before him. You have read them too, the others who owned this. All of them, the best of their age.” As she spoke she raised her hand to her eyes, staring at it.

“You are talented. The best I have seen in over a hundred years. He told me I would know. You asked me for my secret. How I create the stories millions read. Syngraféas was my mentor. He gave this to me when I was very young. Not long before he died.”

She paused, lowered her hand to her lap and turned her gaze to me. For some reason, I was very afraid.

“It was forbidden you know. Long ago, when people were only allowed to read what was sanctioned. And so, they forgot. Only the bravest kept the craft alive. Slowly, we became revered, the Guardians. You remember the tale of the Fountain?”

I swallowed hard. I knew it well.

“Yes, the Fountain is the source of all great stories.”

“And…” she prompted.

“And only one who is deemed worthy is permitted access to the Fountain,” I repeated the line all novices were required to learned.

“Are you worthy?” she asked as her eyes looked into my very soul.

“Me?” I whispered.

Her laughter crackled like dry leaves in the wind. With both hands, she raised the black and gold object high above her head.

“Behold the Pen of the Fountain.”

Once again, her eyes found mine.

“Prepare yourself. Tomorrow it will determine if you are worthy.”

_______________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Rock Requiem

photo by Edwin Undrade via Unsplash

photo by Edwin Undrade via Unsplash

Where have all the great Rock stars gone?

Thousands came to hear and feel, to be transported and transformed.

Echoes, reverberations on empty stadium walls leaving only memories of the swaying crowd.

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

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The Lesson – Warm Up Exercise

Photo credit: apintogsphotos via Visual hunt /  CC BY-NC-ND

Photo credit: apintogsphotos via Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-ND

“Go practice,” Mother repeated.

“I’ll do it later.”

“No. Now.”

“But…”

Mother’s face was stern as she pointed to the bedroom where the trombone waited.

The door slammed followed by an angry blast from the instrument. Mother sighed as strains of practice music filtered through the closed door. She picked up her book, searching for where she had left off. As she began reading, a sour note jolted her from the passage.

The playing stopped. When it resumed, she returned to her book until the same note stopped her again. Time after time, the same sour note grated at her. Throwing the book on the chair, she headed to the bedroom and flung open the door.

“What in the world…” her voice trailed off as she glanced around the room.

The trombone lay on the bed while music filled the air. Her darling child, was playing a video game.

“Where is that music coming from?”

A finger pointed to a cell phone.

She snatched it from the desk.

“You really need to practice. You can’t get this note right,” she pointed at the phone just as the offensive note was repeated. She left the room and trombone practice finally began.

____________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Follow the Light – FFfAW

photo prompt provided by Sunayana with MoiPensieve

photo prompt provided by Sunayana with MoiPensieve

Title: Follow the Light
Source: Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers – Week of February 14, 2017
Word count: 170 words

The day spiraled in a cycle of meetings, client revisions and more meetings Her watch marked time slipping away. The deal was struck and the obligatory dinner celebration began. Thanks, but she had to go.

They rescheduled her flight. It was the last one leaving JFK. She wouldn’t get to Paris until midafternoon. Her watch ticked. Finally, she escaped and hailed a cab.

Hurry, she nearly screamed.

“Lady! You blind? Construction” he gestured at the orange signs.

She arrived at the gate just in time to board, only to discover the flight was being delayed. Weather, they said.

It was dark as she pushed past the crazy scooters. Their shrill horns marking her audacity. Almost there. She found the door and leaned hard to open it. It slammed shut as she dropped her bag and raced up the three flights

The nurse met her at the door. Her grim face said everything.

“Papa?”

“I’ve been waiting.”

“Papa, did you see the lights?”

He nodded feebly.

“Yes Angel. My beautiful Angel.”

__________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Happy Valentine’s Day

Photo credit: Kaptain Kobold via VisualHunt.com /  CC BY-NC-SA

Photo credit: Kaptain Kobold via VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Having captured my Valentine’s heart, the pressure is off. Whew. What a relief to no longer worry about how to survive the fourteenth of February.

I once marked the day in RED, and not for the reasons you might imagine. No, the red was a necessary reminder. Warning, warning. Break out the Kevlar. Strap on the defense mechanisms. Engage stealth mode. Keep your head down. And whatever you do, agree to nothing.

Your co-worker suggests a group dinner out. “Low key,” she says. At the last moment, she tells you, “Oh, by the way, we have a friend who is free and will be joining us for dinner”. That is code for a group of couples who have discovered you are not “coupled up” and have desperately searched out a prospect for you. Ask me how I know.

Photo credit: Spirit635 via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-SA

Photo credit: Spirit635 via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-SA

Busy body. I would have been fine. At home. Alone with a full-bodied Italian. I had splurged and bought the Chianti that had a cork, not the screw top.

Valentine’s day is easy now. No more snarky questions. No more lame excuses. No more looks of pity. No more unwanted pressure. I still see no need for giant teddy bears, and the other frou-frou that goes with the day. Years without those trappings have cured me. A quite dinner will suffice. And perhaps a Chianti with a cork.

I hope you are able to enjoy the day exactly as you wish.

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Close Enough – Warm Up Exercise

Photo credit: MTSOfan via Visualhunt.com /  CC BY-NC-SA

Photo credit: MTSOfan via Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC-SA

She dipped her hands into water before cupping them around a blob of clay she had thrown on to the wheel. The clay was cold. The wheel began to spin. She kneaded it, using the rhythmic motion that started every dance. Drawing it up and pushing it down, centering it on the wheel. The clay warmed to her touch. It yielded to the guidance of her fingers as  she began drawing it up into the shape her hands knew so well. The shape her hands had touched every morning. It had shattered with news of the accident.

She pushed the feelings of frustrations, anger and loss from her mind. She didn’t want to infuse the clay with those emotions. Instead she closed her eyes and focused on the memory of that long-ago day, a day she recalled as if it were yesterday. She could smell the scent of him, feel the heat of his body as he placed his hands on hers. She felt the clay being molded by her hands, changing with the pressure she applied.

She stopped the wheel and opened her eyes, smiling at the form which stood before her. It wasn’t exactly the same, it could never be that. But it would bring her at least some comfort. She carefully removed it from the wheel and attached the handle. She knew the next steps, they wouldn’t be easy to endure. Time to cure, time to endure the fire of the kiln, and the multiple steps of glazing to forge the impenetrable outer layer that would protect the contents.

__________________________________________________

The day had finally arrived to open the kiln. Inside her best friend waited for her, the one who knew all her secrets, her sorrows and her happiness.

“Yes Friend, the coffee is ready. Should we try it out?”

The steaming brew cascaded into the cobalt blue interior. She stared at the black pupil encased in blue. His eyes. No, it wasn’t exactly the same. But it would have to be close enough. Close enough to allow her to return to the daily rhythm of life, close enough to pretend that she was moving on.

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer