Blue Shoes – A picture is worth 1000 words challenge

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Written for the Weekly Writing Challenge

alone-on-the-playground

Photo by Michelle Weber

She liked to call it the Magic Wall.  The reflection in the window changed each time she spun around and always showed something vastly different from her reality but the thought of life beyond her prison made her smile.  She had always had a vivid imagination for a child.  Everyone told her that.  She loved to live in worlds in her mind, far removed from the day-to-day life in which she found herself immersed.  The chain link fences and concrete yards were a harsh world for an orphan.  She was convinced that only she could see the colors on the carousel and that one day the animals would come to life and take her out of this dark place.

Although her Hello Kitty jeans were new, she could feel the cement on her feet through the holes in her shoes as she pushed once again to spin around and see what the magic wall would reflect.  The windows of the house were beautiful and she could almost smell the scent of pine coming from the trees.  This was no ordinary house.  She knew this house was a home.  Inside of those walls lived laughter and love and warmth.  She wanted so much to find a home – something far removed from the brick building and cold walls where she spent countless days waiting to be found.  She knew that home had a mom who baked cookies.  She knew that home was where hugs were given freely and where tears were wiped away by something other than the back of her own hand.

The lifeless creatures held fast to their position as she spun once more.  As the carousel came to a stop she noticed that the image in the window had not changed.  Never before had she seen the same picture twice.   She turned the disk a quarter turn so she was no longer facing the wall that she now thought was broken.  She pondered what this signified. Was the magic gone?  Would the colors of the creatures cease to exist and her world become monochromatic?

She heard the high-heels clicking on the pavement before she saw anyone approaching.   Slowly she looked up to see the woman in the pretty blue shoes.  She was positive she had seen this lady before and seeing the brilliant color on those shoes made her realize that the palette of her world was not going to be shades of grey.  The woman was speaking to her and it took a moment for the words to filter through her ears to her brain.  She was no longer an orphan.  This woman with the brilliant royal blue shoes wanted to take her home and give her a family.

Happiness traveled through every part of her small child-like frame.  She spun around again and again, giggling as the blue shoes raced past her vision each time she circled by the woman who came to save her.  As the ride slowed and finally came to a stop she looked at the magic wall for the last time.  The reflection in the window showed nothing more than the chain link fence and corrugated sheet metal that had surrounded the only playground she had ever known.  The woman stood next to her and they grasped each others hand.  As they left the playground, the woman pulled out a picture of where they would live together.  It was the house from the magic wall.   She could see the warm light cascading from the windows in the photo and already felt like she was home.

She glanced over her shoulder as they rounded the corner and took one last look at the carousel.  The faded grey and white characters that had once been so vivid in her head now appeared as they truly were.  She was sure she saw one of them wave good-bye but she was too focused on the most beautiful blue shoes she had ever seen.

Needle and the damage done

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The Daily Prompt intrigued me today. Here is what they asked for: Draft a post with three parts, each unrelated to the other, but create a common thread between them by including the same item — an object, a symbol, a place — in each part.

I do love a challenge!!  (and after some technical difficulties and some lost data, we’re back!)

~

She squirmed before the needle even penetrated the roof of her mouth. The numbing sensation followed soon afterwards and so did the nitrous oxide making the lights of the dental office seem engaging and hypnotic. The doctors glove-rendered hands floated above her head like giant balloons in a parade. She was sure she should be more coherent during a routine check-up, but his words danced on her eardrums never fully penetrating her brain. Or at least that is what she thought. She awoke later with an acrid taste of metal in her mouth and was about to ask if she could rinse. The words wouldn’t come. Her instinct told her not to speak unless she was spoken to. It was that gut feeling that she would eventually comprehend and would ultimately save her life. He carelessly tossed the needle out the office window.

~

The dream was always the same. She was in her car and could see the police lined up ahead for a random spot check. She was usually more careful with her paraphernalia, but she was high and hadn’t really cared until the moment she saw the flashing lights – the beacon of her eventual doom. She reached for the scattered mess of bags and the cherished needle that was all too prevalent on the front seat. That was where she had first found it that afternoon after leaving her car windows open and that is where it lay now. Frantically she shoved the bags into any hiding spot she could find. As the cars moved forward beads of sweat trickled from her brow.  In her haste to hide the bags, she had taken her attention from the road and hit the car in front of her.  The needle was catapulted from the safety of the passenger seat and now lay in plain view on the floor.  The beam of the officer’s flashlight scanned the car and reflected off the metal that glinted in its light.  The dream became blurry after that.  She awoke feeling unrested and scanned her surroundings.  The iron bars on the door remained still and sturdy, holding her captive for what felt like an eternity.  Perhaps dreams, good or bad, really do come true.

~

This particular needle had plunged through tapestries for so long, it could probably work itself in and out of the canvas without the help of her gnarled and arthritic fingers.  She surveyed the room and the many framed works she had been creating for so long.  Each collection of carefully woven stitches served to paint a picture of a happy family.  Each of her four children’s birth dates and full given names lined the wall she looked at so lovingly and nine pillows adorned her furniture with the same information about her grandchildren.  She feverishly worked on number ten waiting for the phone call.  The shrill ring of the phone startled her, but the smile crept ceremoniously into the corners of her mouth as she reached for the phone.

“Mom, it’s twins.  A boy and a girl!”

She reached for a new canvas for the unexpected arrival and gently placed it beside the only canvas she had never finished – the one that belonged to the child she lost so long ago to a drug overdose.  Someday she would find the strength to forgive, but she had two new additions to focus on now.  The needle began to work its magic once more.

Here’s to you Ms. Dickinson

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The Daily Prompt got me again….POW, right in the kisser.  Here’s what they want: National Poetry Writing Month is nearly at an end. To celebrate it, try your hand at some verse.

~

Air flows in circular patterns,

over the crushed brown grass.

Blades slowly stretch from the earth,

as Spring has finally come to pass.

Trees blossom and new life grows,

reaching from outstretched limbs.

Birds crest on upward drafts,

they are the promise of summer’s warm winds.

The chill of the night air recedes,

giving way to the heat of the sun.

Mother Nature has blessed us,

Her beauty is not to be outdone.

Play it again, Sam

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The Daily Prompt is this: Tell us about a book you can read again and again without getting bored — what is it that speaks to you?

I am slightly obsessed when it comes to Dean Koontz.  I have read all of his books at least once, most likely twice.  He wrote a book in 2003 called Watchers that detailed the escape of two laboratory animals that had an indescribable connection to each other.  One of the experimental animals was a horrendously disfigured failure of a creation and the other was a beautiful Golden Retriever.  Both of these genetically altered animals were blessed with the intelligence and reasoning ability of a human.  Only one was loved and doted on for his success and the other hated him for it and wanted nothing but to kill the dog.

Watchers is a strange premise for a story, but the relationship Travis has with his dog is remarkably touching.  I can honestly say that I have read it at least 10 times and it still instills the same emotion when I read it.  It was the first book I chose to read when my mom went into the hospital.

The emotion and companionship described in the book between a human and his dog pulls at my heart-strings every time I read it and it makes me hug my dog a little tighter.  I only wish she could answer my questions with scrabble tiles as well!!

I’m not sure if I’d call it a possession…Daily Prompt

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The Daily Prompt lured me in again with its devious, thought-provoking challenge – Prized Possession:  Describe an item you were incredibly attached to as a child. What became of it?

For all intents and purposes, it wasn’t actually mine.  It was tangible and readily accessible when I summoned up the courage to play games with it, but I had no ownership of it.  I couldn’t play with it on a whim because I had little to no control over the time I would get to spend with it.  Whatever time I did get to spend with it made me love it even more.

It had many different features and helped me develop a true sense of competition.  It had a hard-outer shell, but once you worked it in a little bit, it became much softer and more pliable. At certain points in my life, I actually tried to emulate this item.

I have never lost my attachment to it.  If anything that attachment has only grown stronger over the years.  I never had to think back and wonder what became of it because it is still near and dear to my heart.  It resides five minutes from my house in a house all its own.  I still play games with it, like the old days, but the games are different now.

This prized possession, the item I am still so attached to is the father of my two nephews, my brother and one of my best friends.

Hoarding gives me the Heebie-jeebies

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The Daily Prompt asks this question today:

Does a messy home (or office) make you anxious and cranky, or is cleaning something you just do before company comes over?

coffee_table

(image credit: accentondesign.net)

The items on my coffee table do not have to be positioned at precise angles at varying degrees, but things do have a certain place in my house.  I am not fanatical about cleaning, but I am stringent about being organized.  I don’t get many surprise visitors because I live in a very rural area, but if people drove off the beaten path and arrived at my home, I would not be frantically searching for the Swiffer or tossing newspapers or wrappers under the couch cushions.

The same goes for my desk at work.  Sure there are piles of paper and file folders, but they are organized piles that I strategically am able to work through because everything has its place.

Having said that, the entrance way into my house could potentially negate anything I’ve mentioned about seeming organized, but that will be rectified soon.  My entrance way is the only spot for me to store my patio cushions and other outdoor items that are longing to be freed from their winter incarceration.  It’s nothing close to being a Hoarder’s episode, but it does make me a bit anxious when I see everything piled in one spot.  Hazmat suits are not required, but until I win the lottery I will have to deal with the negative aspects of living in a house that is only 650 square feet.  At least the rest of it is organized!

Here is what some others had to say:

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I have a feeling I’ve answered this before – Daily Prompt

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The Daily Prompt asks us: Have you ever truly felt déjà vu, the sensation that you’ve already had the experience you’re currently having?

I have experienced deja vu many times and each time it feels somewhat unnerving.  The feeling that you’ve been in the same situation in some alternate reality, knowing or feeling that you can predict the next couple of seconds, is an interesting phenomenon.

I am a believer in reincarnation, so perhaps my willingness to fathom the anomaly is somewhat justified.  And maybe I am just using reincarnation as an excuse to believe there is a potential reason behind an inexplicable occurrence.  I don’t know why it happens, or how it happens, but that doesn’t change the existence of the eerie feeling that I succumb to on the odd occasion.

deja-vu

(image credit: ghostwiki.blogspot.com)

It is possible that souls who are linked throughout different lifetimes are brought into the same types of situations to deal with them at another time and another place.  I have experienced some strange moments where I could completely justify that belief.  There would be no other reason to accept the course of action that ensued to make anything else seem plausible.  There was an instinctual understanding of the other person that I could not have known prior to that day, and, thinking back on that day, I am still mystified.

Have you ever experienced a predicament like deja vu that you couldn’t explain?