time and space

He played all day in his room, from the moment he was excused from the breakfast table until he was called again for lunch, and then again in the afternoon until supper was placed on the table.  His parents worried about his antisocial tendencies but all attempts to get him to play with kids his age had ended poorly, with him in tears and the other children wondering what was wrong with him.  His mom had considered taking him to see a psychiatrist, but his father had convinced her that it was probably a phase he would grow out of if given the space and time to do so.

So, they had waited, and watched, and fretted, and years had passed and still he played with his toys and puzzles and cars and games, in his room, by himself.  His parents thought they had done something wrong, that they had somehow created a rift between him and normal society, that how he spent his days wasn’t really living at all.

It became a sad, personal, joke between them, that on the rare occasions when he was seen leaving his room on his own accord that there had been a ghost sighting.  “Did you see the ghost this afternoon?”  “Did you see that spirit sneaking food from the fridge?”  “Did you see that ethereal being wafting down the hallway?”  They were jokes, but neither of them ever laughed.

Their child was a ghost of the living, and it was all their fault.  They should have forced him to interact more.  They should have required him to spend more time outside, more time rumbling and tumbling with the neighbors, more time learning what it was to be a boy, to be alive.

Each time he asked to be excused and he pushed himself away from the table they hoped that would be the time he would ask if he could go outside and play.  And each time he dashed their hopes and disappeared into his room instead, they grew sadder and more distraught, distancing themselves from their own friends and lives until they too became ghosts.

The child had no understanding of his parents’ plight or sorrow.  He was happy as could be, building worlds, creating friends, running adventures, and allowing his rampant imagination the time and space to grow to its fullest potential.

Open Door Blue Sky

 

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The curse of the introvert?  The gift of the creative?  Where others see a problem, there may not be something that needs to be solved at all…

This is in response to this week’s Inspiration Monday writing challenge:

Inspiration Monday logo

The Rules

There are none. Read the prompts, get inspired, write something. No word count minimum or maximum. You don’t have to include the exact prompt in your piece, and you can interpret the prompt(s) any way you like.

OR

No really; I need rules!

Okay; write 200-500 words on the prompt of your choice. You may either use the prompt as the title of your piece or work it into the body of your piece. You must complete it before 6 pm CST on the Monday following this post.

The Prompts:

CARDIAC ARREST

FINGERLESS

GHOST OF THE LIVING

WASHING MACHINE

FRIDGE MONSTER

a short long mix-up

They were playing cops and robbers, again, and chasing each other around the sprawling backyard.  The sandbox was police headquarters.  The lawn was the the business district.  The trees were the alleys and hidden doorways.  Sirens blared and gunfire erupted sporadically as good attempted to assert itself over evil to maintain order, to maintain the peace of the land.

“Bang!  Bang!”  LeFors leveled his gun hand at the chest of his quarry after firing the warning shots, “Don’t move, bozo, or I’ll gun you down.”

Ringo smiled, charming, unafraid, as he let his right hand ease down and he looped the thumb in his gun belt.  The lawman had the drop on him, but the desire to pull leather and blaze away was nearly overpowering.  Experience alone stayed his hand.  He would play it cool and wait for his chance to strike or slip away, “Okay, Joe, you’ve got me.”

Expecting a trap, master lawman that he was, Joe LeFors didn’t budge an inch.  He knew Johnny Ringo to be a conniving, cowardly, conman, the worst kind, and refused to do anything to give up the advantage he currently had.  He set his jaw, and with steel resolve in his voice, he ordered the Cowboy to give up his weapon, “Slowly now, loose the buckle and let your gun belt fall away.”

“You know I can’t do that, Joe,” Ringo’s smiled broadened.  His eyes danced with mischief and burned with anger.

“You’ve got no out, no place to go, no chance to get away,” LeFors countered.  “Don’t be foolish.  Don’t give me the chance to use my short arm of the law.”

“Uh…”  John’s face scrunched into a look of confusion,  “What?”

Joe frowned, “The short arm of the law.”  A second later, completely breaking character, he added, “That’s a saying, right?”

John removed his hand from its resting place near the holstered toy gun and scratched his scalp near his temple as he tried to figure out what his young sibling actually wanted to say.  While he waited for the game to start up again, Joe grew bored and started digging at an exposed root with the toe of his shoe.

“Oh, no,” John said when he figured out the confusion, “you are mixing up a couple different sayings, I think.  The ‘long arm of the law’ refers to the lengths lawmen will go to pursue the criminals they are after.  They leave no stone unturned.  They have vast networks of informants and colleagues.  There is no place the bad guys can hide safely.  And, ‘long irons’ refer to the style of revolvers carried in the old west.  Though,” John paused for a second, confused again, “why did you say short arm?  You should have said, ‘Don’t give me the chance to use my long iron.'”

Joe looked down at the snub-nose cap gun still clutched in his small hand, shrugged, and replied, “It’s not very big.  Small seemed more appropriate.”

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Tuesday?  Check.  Silliness?  Check.  Flash fiction?  Check.

It must be.  It could only be.  It is…  another Inspiration Monday writing challenge:

Inspiration Monday logo

The Rules

There are none. Read the prompts, get inspired, write something. No word count minimum or maximum. You don’t have to include the exact prompt in your piece, and you can interpret the prompt(s) any way you like.

OR

No really; I need rules!

Okay; write 200-500 words on the prompt of your choice. You may either use the prompt as the title of your piece or work it into the body of your piece. You must complete it before 6 pm CST on the Monday following this post.

The Prompts:

NEW NAMES

LEARNING TO FAIL

UNREAL

SHORT ARM OF THE LAW

WRONG VICTIM

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I swear I didn’t even mean for these brothers to have names that started with the same letter.  I’d noticed I was doing that frequently in my more recent posts so I was going to avoid that… but, then I picked the two historical characters I wanted the brothers to be playing as and started writing.  It wasn’t until the end that I realized both their names started with “J.”  My mind is a silly place of happy coincidences.

Have you seen the movie “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid?”  How about “Tombstone?”  Do you like Westerns?

Did you have favorite games to play with your brothers/sisters growing up?

older brothers are confusing

Charles put down the comic book, his eyes wild with mischief and his mouth twisted in a matching grin, and he pushed himself off his bed.  He quickly raided his closet and changed into a mash up of costumes from the past several Halloweens.  He checked his appearance in the mirror hanging behind his door and continued changing articles here and there until he was satisfied with his look.  Then he pulled open the door with a resounding thud and raced through the house trumpeting, “I am Galactus.  I am the devourer.  Earth is mine!”  With a maniacal laugh he flew out the front door, slamming it shut in his wake.

Cody, playing quietly in the room adjacent to his older brother’s, snuck to his own bedroom door to ensure that Charles had in fact left and wasn’t playing some trick on him.  He’d fallen victim to too many of his brother’s shenanigans recently to take anything Charles did at face value.  However, as Cody confirmed he was safe for the moment, a look of confusion crossed his small face, “The devourer?  Earth is his?  He’s an earth eater?”

He returned to his playing shaking his head.  Charles was so silly.  Cody never knew what his brother was going to be like from one day to the next.   Cody had just offered him some mud pies the day before and Charles hadn’t had any interest, but today it seemed he had changed his mind.

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Short and silly, but hopefully it got a chuckle or two out of you.  This was written in response to this week’s Inspiration Monday writing challenge:

Inspiration Monday logo

The Rules

There are none. Read the prompts, get inspired, write something. No word count minimum or maximum. You don’t have to include the exact prompt in your piece, and you can interpret the prompt(s) any way you like.

OR

No really; I need rules!

Okay; write 200-500 words on the prompt of your choice. You may either use the prompt as the title of your piece or work it into the body of your piece. You must complete it before 6 pm CST on the Monday following this post.

The Prompts:

COST OF LIVING

EARTH EATER

ORANGE JUMPSUIT

UNREAD

SECOND BEST

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I know you want to play along with the silliness, and there are some great prompt words this week.  So… what are you waiting for?  Pick one, write a post, link it up, and share it with the rest of us!