Animals/Pets, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer, My Thoughts, Nature, Relationship, Writing, Writing Challenges

Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer: Oscar #amwriting #flashfiction #fiction #pets


Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting FFftAW.

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Credit: Shivangi Singh

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“What made you think we were going to fit your couch in our condo?” Eve asked Grant. 

“Well Eve, I can explain.” 

“I told you before, your couch will not fit through the front door. It won’t fit in the elevator either.” 

Grant sighed and rubbed his eyes, ” It’s just, he’s been through everything with me. I could never leave him behind. He’s my lucky charm and I’ll curse my favourite sport’s teams if I leave him.” 

Eve laughed, “Leaving ‘him‘ will curse your sport’s teams, huh? Do your buddies outside, below the patio think so? They’re the ones who’re having to get your couch or ‘him‘ to the third floor balcony?” 

“Errr. . .well, they know about Oscar,” Grant mumbled. 

“Oscar?” 

“Well, Eve it’s not my couch we’ve been moving, it’s my pet elephant. He’s gotten so big now, we had to haul him up through the patio door.”

Eve’s mouth gaped, “We’re talking about the proverbial elephant in the room, your couch right? I don’t see it up here.” 

“Look behind you,” Grant muttered. Oscar the half-grown elephant trumpeted happily squealing behind Eve.

 Grant’s fiancée squealed for a different reason. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Fiction, History, MindLoveMisery's Menagerie, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Writing, Writing Challenges

Photo Challenge: Fiction – Spectre of Death #amwriting #fiction #death


Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this week’s photo prompt: 

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Credit: “Minutes to Midnight” – http://www.hunternif.deviantart.com

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Time’s clock is forever ticking above death’s throne. The clock’s glass face absorbes the colours of the landscape where death resides. The greyish-green of the stone mass, a floating island, and the pinky-red fire of the sky above and below, reflects on the clock’s face. 

The figure of death sits soberly in his throne. The stone carved form a perfect fit for his lanky tall body. Beneath death’s left and right hands, the leering skulls of his first two victims sit. They are from our first two ancestors, people who lived exceptionally long compared to the humans living in modern times. Adam and Eve had tried to evade death, even though they knew he was coming for them. They had been ignorant and had no idea what death actually meant until they breathed their last. 

Their souls he’d had to let fly in heaven, gold birds with giant wings exploring their freedom and return to painlessness. He had kept their skulls, though one day he knew he would have to return them. For now, Adam and Eve’s skulls peered eerily out onto whichever soul was before death seated on his throne. Together with the dying person, death watched their last seconds of life tick away. He towered over them in his realm and let their soul sour to heaven or to hell, there was no inbetween except him. 

Some souls who stood before him were not afraid. This always amazed death. He was an imposing figure, giant and fearsome, his red hair as consuming flames, and his eyes burning coals. Some humans gazed up at him with what frightened death as wisdom, something they had gained, which few knew, not even him. Their souls flew away and he knew he would never see them again. Other people crumbled before him and he took time to torment them whether they went below or above. He was death after all, a fearsome being. 

Yet, he had no control where a soul went. Death had no power to choose or to do as he wanted. He had a job, a task. He was death, he killed; but he was not merely an end. He was also the beginning. What he valued most of all, freeing those souls trapped in decaying bodies or in bodies injured profusely. Death was a contradiction of terms, both good and evil. Souls of faith went above and souls of disbelief went down to hades. Even death was afraid of what lay far beneath him in the abyss. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Fiction, Flash Fiction, My Thoughts, Relationship, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Writing

Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: Not Ready for Kids


” Look at the girl in that back seat signing to us,” Eve told Adam, pointing. ” How cute, she must be bored from the long car ride.” Adam scoffed.

” What is it with you and kids?” Adam asked Eve, ” You love my bratty nieces and nephews  and now you adore some little girl in a passing car’s window?”

” What’s wrong with liking kids? Your sister’s kids are well behaved and they like me as much as I like them.”

“Do you have to talk about kids? Can’t we be childless adults in our thirties? I feel as if you’re suggesting we should have kids.” Adam told Eve, appearing wan. 

Eve began to laugh boisterously.”It’s not funny,” Adam said trying not to smile.

“It’s hilarious Adam. You’re the only kid I can handle right now.” Eve said rubbing Adam’s arm.”Maybe, when you stop getting us kicked out of the bar, we can think about children.” 

“Eden, the bar we went to last night?” Adam asked,”I don’t remember drinking that much. . .Wait a minute! Who are you to talk Eve? You’re the one who kept buying me drinks last night, temptress.” 

Eve smiled. “Nope, I guess we’re not ready for kids.”

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Thanks to Roger Shipp for hosting FFftPP.

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©Mandibelle16.(2016) All Rights Reserved.

Fiction, Lists, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Poetry, Quotes, Writing

A List of Words with Meaning


1. John Donne – “A Valediction Forbidding Mourning.” Lines 12-24. 

Why I love it? I love this poetry quote and the entire poem because I think the poem speaks about the kind of love we should strive to have with our other-halves. Not the love of “[dull] sublunary lovers” which is only a physical connection that “[abscence] doth remove[s] / [those] things which elements it.” But love where, “two souls . . . are one” and when one lover dies the relationship does not end. Instead, the relationship is such as “gold to airy thinness beat,” not a “breach” but an “expansion” of love.

Dull sublunary lovers’ love

   (Whose soul is sense) cannot admit

Absence, because it doth remove

   Those things which elemented it.
But we by a love so much refined,

   That our selves know not what it is,

Inter-assured of the mind,

   Care less, eyes, lips, and hands to miss.
Our two souls therefore, which are one,

   Though I must go, endure not yet

A breach, but an expansion,

   Like gold to airy thinness beat.

2. John Milton – Paradise Lost: Book 9  – The Fall of Mankind – Eve eating the Forbidden Fruit.

Why I love this quote? Adam and Eve live perfect lives in the Garden of Eden. But Eve is tempted by Satan in the guise of a snake who tells Eve she would be powerful and all knowing like God if she ate the forbidden fruit, even though God said that was the only thing that Adam and Eve cannot do. Many people will say, the Fall of mankind was Eve’s fault because she ate the fruit first and later, gave it to Adam. The thing was Eve was created from Adam’s rib, and he was supposed to love, protect her, and watch out for her. So, even when Eve takes that first bite, Adam has sinned to. And he does it again when he eats the fruit himself. This quote to me is savage and lustful: “Greedily, she ingorg’d without restraint / And knew not eating death.” Imagine this brilliant sexy vivacious woman who has been tricked by the devil, and done herself and her husband in. Immediately, she loses self-restraint and does not realize upon eating the fruit, she was ensuring that she would die, as would every member of the human race one day because we all relate back to Adam and Eve.

So saying, her rash hand in evil hour

Forth reaching to the Fruit, she pluck’d, she eat:

Earth felt the wound, and Nature from her seat

Sighing through all her Works gave signs of woe,

That all was lost. Back to the Thicket slunk

The guiltie Serpent, and well might, for Eve

Intent now wholly on her taste, naught else

Regarded, such delight till then, as seemd,

In Fruit she never tasted, whether true

Or fansied so, through expectation high

Of knowledg, nor was God-head from her thought.

Greedily she ingorg’d without restraint,

And knew not eating Death: Satiate at length,

And hight’nd as with Wine, jocond and boon,

Thus to her self she pleasingly began.

3. Emily Dickinson – ” A Bird Came Down the Walk.” Lines 14-20.

Why I like this quote?  The poetry in these lines is extremely beautiful. The wording is lush and descriptive. It creates this wonderful image. I didn’t quote the entire poem though maybe I should have. But a bird comes down the walk and eats an angle worm raw. This shows the savagery and realness of nature. The bird looks around weary of predators with his beady bird eyes. He is acting as birds do. But there is beauty in the flight of the bird taking off “unroll[ing] his feathers” and “row[ing]” a “softer Home.” The last verse is magnificent and I still barely can wrap my mind around it. Flying like  “oars divid[ing] the Ocean / [too] silver for a seam.” And then a comparison of birds to butterflies who fly like they are swimming “plashless” or splashless in the sky. Just gorgeous wording you can feel and experience from Dickinson.

And he unrolled his feathers, 

And rowed him softer Home –

 

Than Oars divide the Ocean,

Too silver for a seam,

Or Butterflies, off Banks of Noon,

Leap, plashless as they swim.

4. Robert Browning – “Porphyries Lover.” Lines 28-43.

Why I like this quote? In this poem I like the horror of what Porphyria’s lover does. He thinks she has another lover and when he decides she doesn’t, he decides the only way to keep her his, is to strangle her with her own hair. Clearly, this guy is crazy but Browning writes so eloquently in his poem that the deed of murdering Porphyria is all the more terrible. In his messed up mine the lover thinks, “Porphyria worship[s]” him. To hold that moment in time because Porphyria is at last his, “[perfectly] pure and good,” the lover wraps Porphyria’s hair ” three times her little throat around / [and] strangle[s] her.” Crazy, but Browning does a fantastic job of conveying an obsessive lover.

       Happy and proud; at last I knew

Porphyria worshipped me; surprise

       Made my heart swell, and still it grew

       While I debated what to do.

That moment she was mine, mine, fair,

       Perfectly pure and good: I found

A thing to do, and all her hair

       In one long yellow string I wound

       Three times her little throat around,

And strangled her. No pain felt she;

       I am quite sure she felt no pain.

As a shut bud that holds a bee,

       I warily oped her lids: again

       Laughed the blue eyes without a stain.

And I untightened next the tress

5. Robert Frost – “Mending Wall.” Lines 27-24.

Why I like this quote? Well, I think this an important poem because it talks about how to be good neighbours. I think Donald Trump should read this poem before he builds a wall to keep out Mexico and Canada. The speaker in this story is picking up the rocks from his stone fence and placing them back on the wall. His neighbour does the same thing on the otherside of the fence. The speaker does not understand why each year, him and his neighbour do this. His neighbour believes ” ‘ [good] fences make good neighbours.'” But the speaker wonders ” ‘ [why] do [fences] make good neighbours?'” He would like to know what “he is walling in or walling out.” The speaker “doesn’t love a wall” and he thinks it is unnecessary. But he would like his neighbour to understand why they shouldn’t be putting up walls for himself, but the neighbour will not change his ways. “He will not go behind his father’s saying.” This poem makes me think we too need to be careful what we wall out or wall in, in our lives. We need to be with other people to share and build friendships. We can’t wall each other out because of tradition or things we’ve done. We need to accept people in, and open our doors to be good neighbours.

He only says, “Good fences make good neighbours.”

Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder

If I could put a notion in his head:

“Why do they make good neighbours? Isn’t it

Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.

Before I built a wall I’d ask to know

What I was walling in or walling out,

And to whom I was like to give offence.

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,

That wants it down.” I could say “Elves” to him,

But it’s not elves exactly, and I’d rather

He said it for himself. I see him there

Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top

In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.

He moves in darkness as it seems to me,

Not of woods only and the shade of trees.

He will not go behind his father’s saying,

And he likes having thought of it so well

He says again, “Good fences make good neighbours.”

Please see The Poetry Foundation for the  complete works of poetry and other poems.

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Thanks to La Duchesse D’erat and Rosema for this weeks list prompt of important words.

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©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved. 

Poetry, Short Stories And Serial Stories

Writing 201 – Paradise Lost – The Fall of Man 


So saying, her rash hand in evil hour

Forth reaching to the Fruit, she pluck’d, she eat

Earth felt the wound; and Nature from her seat

Sighing through all her Works gave signs of woe,

That all was lost. Back to the Thicket slunk

The guiltie Serpent, and well might;for Eve

Intent now wholly on her taste, nought else

Regarded; such delight till then, as seemed

In fruit she never tasted, whether true

Or fancied so, through expectation high

Of knowledge; nor was Godhead from her thought

Greedily she ingorged without restraint

And knew not eating death: Satiate at length

And hight’nd as with wine, jocund and boon,

Thus to herself she pleasingly began,

When I first studied Paradise Lost by John Milton, I hated in first year university. But when I took a course on Renaissance literature in my fourth year, I loved it. It’s an amazing piece of work, an epic, but also with fantastic poetry. I love these lines where Eve plucked and ate the fruit off the forbidden tree in the garden of Edan. Adam later follows suite and eats the fruit as well. Did God create us knowing that man would fall? Yes, but he still created us, created us with free will. And even though Adam and Eve did the one thing God asked them not to do, he loved them enough to send a saviour one day. 

Flash Fiction, Relationship, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Writing

Literary Lion: The Orchid


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http://www.homeforliving.xyz
He gave it to her the day they first met. A beautiful and lush purple orchid laying in sugar-water. Eve didn’t know who he was then only that she was going to be forced to marry him when she became of age. She was only thirteen and he must have been twenty when they first met. How could he even think Eve was attractive? Eve thought it a bit dirty, but her parents didn’t say much just that the age difference wouldn’t be so much when she was old enough to be wed.

” Why do I have to marry him?” she asked her mother.

“Because” Eve’s mother Blair said ” he has a lot of money, something we don’t. We maybe aristocracy, Eve, but our fortunes run dry. He is a self-made American who owns much land and business. He will take care of us all, but especially you. He asked to be betrothed to you himself, after all the other girls he could have had that are his age. Don’t you think he’s handsome?” Blair asked her daughter.

” Well yes, I think he is handsome. and well-built, but he’s just so old Mom.”

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Seven years later at age twenty-one the wedding took place. Eve looked at herself in the mirror wearing a beautiful lace wedding gown with an extremely long elegant train. She also had the flower her fiancé had given her when she was only twelve, it still lived and looked everyday the same, healthy and full of vitality. Eve had grown into a beautiful women with long wavy blond hair and greenish-blue eyes. She was lovely and curvy and she saw the way her fiancé Jonathan looked at her. They had become friends and strangely enough that had led to a deeper connection between them. Something Jonathan had said he knew there would be even when she was a preteen.

So, they married and had a family and many years together. All those years the orchid continued to bloom in its little round bowl. It wasn’t until Jonathan and Eve were well aged and having great-grand children that the orchid began to fade. Slowly, and strangely so did Eve and Jonathan’s health, until one day, they didn’t get up in the morning.

Eve’s maid found the elderly couple asleep in their bed holding hands. She looked at the bowl that held the orchid her former lady had loved or what was left of it. The orchid that had always bloomed now crumbled until all that remained was the dust of the flower floating in the water.

Word Count: 430 words

Thanks to I Smith Words for hosting and giving the prompt flower.

Poetry

Poetry: Some kind of Grace


Tried to put my life together one more time.
The advantage of time, you’ll just turn it to ashes again.
There’s no such thing as perfection, just a rejection.
Please don’t let me dig a hole I can’t climb out of this time.

Money is power and money is king.
So hard being a material girl, when you haven’t much treasure.
But we survive the days of little wealth, and find in comfort
“I can survive on my own, I can live on what I have, and that makes it okay to
Want what you often must turn your back on.”
But digging holes is what I do daily.

Your choking me now with the thickness of black smoke
That acrid taste that leaves fire in my mouth.
I’ve burnt another bridge, How long before I burn?
You can be forgiven a million times, pray to heaven,
And be replete and renewed in forgivenesses’ blissfulness.

But sometimes you beg for contrition and it’s not a pretty sight.
Pray to not sin those sins again, but sin works in “spirals”
And takes the sinner from “pride”to “despair,” and there is nothing in the middle.
For no one can contain the soak of poison into our veins.

Vanity, is a place I often lie, and think about the beauty that values things
More makeup, more contour, more glitter, more perfume.
Live the life of luxury or step down from your tower and just be human
Pretty and forget to be vain, but vanity and pride sit together as twins
Dig another hole, die another day, live and let live oh but for the propensity of sin.

To touch everyone and everything.
Make them mad again, play my hand again, lose their trust again.
I can only make right what I have confessed, else I’m caught in wrong doing.
Else, I’m sucked in by the twisting of what is good.
When Eve took the apple she sucked and “she ate,” I ate it with her, she should have known, mother of all. That witch!

And I aim for a life where I can have more control because I have less of it.
I aim for a life where it’s okay to smudge your face and pick yourself back up.
Be a little kinder, help a little more, and I find God in the strangest places,
Coaxing me on, let go of everything, come follow me.
And I stumble along contrite for a minute until I twist my ankle in some unlikely hole.
I should know where it is, I was the one who dug it.

And I know moments of grace, undeserved and glorious,
But I’m always searching for that little bit of hope.
Where grace clothes me and I’m adorned, a creature of sin,
Once rejected and torn, now I sit at my father’s heels and I’m content.
No longer forlorn. I am accepted a stranger no more.
For my time…and in eternity forever.

Works Cited

– Milton, John. Paradise Lost.