Drip, Drip, Drip – Reader’s Choice

This is the post for which you, the lovely readers, chose the inspiration. There was a tie between “cat” and “crimson”. A huge thank you to all of those who participated in the pool and all who have been reading!


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Crimson liquid dripped, dripped, dripped onto the kitchen floor.

He stared at it in disbelief. His mind hidden in a fog and his hands shaking. He stumbled over to the sink. Turning on the tap, he grabbed the nearby sponge, knocking the soap dispenser over with his elbow in the process.

He could still hear the liquid dripping. It was all he could hear.

Drip, drip, drip.

He made his way over to the puddle on the floor. He couldn’t focus. He tried to pay attention to the pool of liquid in order to soak it up with the sponge, but he couldn’t will his hands to move.

He sat back on his heels, sponge in hand and eyes full of tears. He couldn’t quite believe it.

What had he done? What would she think? Would she ever forgive him?

He shook his head, attempting to clear it of thoughts.

Drip, drip, drip.

He tried again to move his hands towards the puddle. This time, his arms responded and jerked forward. He slowly, painstakingly soaked up the pool of crimson.

He returned to the sink, slowly and groggily. He rinsed the sponge in the water still streaming from the tap. He moved over to the counter. Three large chunks of glass had scattered across the tile. He gingerly picked them up and threw them in the trash. They were useless now. He felt a connection with the pieces of glass as they hit the bottom of the garbage bag.

Drip, drip, drip.

He moved to the mess again and began to soak up the liquid that had migrated along the grooves between tiles and fallen again onto the floor.The sponge was full and he rinsed it out again.

He repeated this process, again and again until every last drop of crimson on the counter and floor had gone down the drain.

His head was a little cleaner now. He stood at the sink, staring out the window.

He wasn’t sure how long he stood there, but before he knew it he heard the keys in the door. His stomach sank to his shoes with worry.

She called out his name, letting him know she was home. He heard her footsteps approaching the kitchen.

He turned to face the door but kept his gaze on his feet.

“Are you alright?”

He shook his head. He didn’t trust himself to speak.

“Did something happen?”

He nodded.

“What happened?” Her voice was kind and loving.

He couldn’t take it anymore. The words spilled out of him in a rush. “I’m sorry! I know you left me here alone, ’cause you trusted me. I’m sorry! I accidently let the cat out the door and I broke the juice bottle.” Tears were streaming down his face; his shoes were blurry now.

She lifted his chin and looked into his eyes. “Honey,” she sounded kind and caring. “It’s okay. These things happen. It looks like you cleaned it up and we’ll find the cat. She never goes far. Come here.” She tugged him forward, knelt down and wrapped him in a warm hug. “I love you, sweetheart. Thank you for telling me. I love you.”

“I love you too Mama.”

 

 

 

The Closeted Musician

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The notes flew from his fingers as they moved across the piano keys. His ears listened closely to every single sound.

With each note, the tension in his shoulders lessened and he could breathe a little easier. As he played his jaw loosened and his neck lengthened. His feet, which had once been rooted firmly to the floor, began to dance.

Soon the stress of the day had been played away. He was able to stop focusing on the mistakes, the grating chords, the off rhythm and simply enjoy the act of playing. And, as he let go of the need to be perfect, it sounded better. The melody flowed and began to tell a story.

He did this whenever he had a rough day. He would remind himself that there were only a few more hours until he was home, alone, and able to play his stress away.

He was an amazing musician, but no one knew. That was how he liked it. He hated being the center of attention and he didn’t want others ruining his enjoyment of the piano. He played for himself and himself alone.

As he played, the notes seemed to hang in the air around him. They followed him around begging to be played and he obliged. These were his friends, his family, his world.

Hitting the last note, he eyes closed, he listened to the swirl of sound as it grew quieter. He felt the notes disappear, but something felt different that normal. One of the notes seemed to remain in the air around him, begging to be played.

Opening his eyes, he looked around and saw to his amazement someone standing in the doorway that led out to the garden.

“Hello,” they said, smiling. “Would you play me some more?”

He was surprised, he’d never played for anyone before. He thought he would feel unhappy, uncomfortable, unwilling, but he didn’t. They were the note that hadn’t disappeared as the sound has faded into nothing.

He smiled back. “Of course.”

 

Thoughts from the Dark Road 


As you drive along the rode, your mind has the time to wander. 

You begin to think about your life and all the things you’ve done to get where you are now: on this dark road winding through the trees. 

You start to wonder if you’ve made the right choices, if you really have done the best you could, if you could have done things differently. 

Now you are thinking of your life in a different way. From a different point of view. You are an outsider looking in. You obverse your entire life in this new way. You remember all of those big mistakes you thought you made over the years. The ones that you will never forget. And you realize that really, in the larger picture, maybe they aren’t that big. 

Maybe, against all the odds and your mind telling you otherwise, you really are alright. You’ve done okay. You’ve made it to where you are and you did the best you could. 

And on that winding road enveloped by the dark of the night, you are able to except that your life really isn’t that bad after-

“For crying out load, would they just turn their brights down? They’re blinding me!” 

Dandelions

dandelion-142969_1280He remembered that when he was very little he had picked dandelions, made a wish and blown the fluffy bits into the wind. He remembered that Mom and Dad hadn’t really liked that much, but he’d done it anyway. He always wondered when his wish would come true. Now though, he couldn’t remember if any of them every had.

When he was a little older, but still young enough to be called a kid, he remembered the pretty girl he had a crush on. He knew, by watching Dad give flowers to Mom, that that was what you did when you liked a girl. He remembered picking the one he thought was the prettiest and handing it to the girl. He had been shy, he remembered, and had blushed. But she had done the same, and smiled, which made it worth it.

When he was older and he had to start cutting and weeding the lawn for Mom and Dad, he didn’t like them anymore. They always seemed to spring up out of nowhere over night, constantly causing him to say mean things to them under his breath. When he finally owned his own place after years of saving, those mean things were no longer said under his breath.

Now as he watched his own kids and making wishes, he didn’t mind them quite as much. They reminded him of when he was little and didn’t care if the fluffy bits made hundreds more. He would make wishes himself from time to time, and had more than once caught himself wondering when his wish would come true.

Though he knew it didn’t really matter if it came true or not. It simply reminded him that his childhood self was still in there somewhere. The child that hadn’t gotten annoyed or frustrated at dandelions, but had instead gave them to pretty girls on the playground and waited for wishes to come true.

Rust – Reader’s Choice

Thank you to those of you who voted for the inspiration for this post! The chosen topic is ‘rust’. I hope you enjoy! 


Clouds drifted over the sun. Once more casting the land below into shadow. This had been happening on and off all day. Each time I would shiver and pull my arms in tight. It was summer and warm, but only if you were in direct sunlight. It was chilly everywhere else. 

I was walking, as I normally did on a Saturday, to the abandoned train tracks. I was never quite sure why I liked it there. Maybe it was simply a place to go to escape the monotony of my town. Or maybe it was just a place where I could be alone. Or maybe it wasn’t either of those and I had just been doing to for long enough that I’d forgotten why I’d started in the first place. But whatever the reason, every Saturday I would walk the mile or so out of town to the old tracks. 

I rarely saw anyone there, and if I did they were always just walking past. They never seemed to notice the tracks and never stopped to look around. But I didn’t mind. I liked it that way. 

There were two sets of tracks. One went straight on into the trees and the other curved away towards the old station half a mile away. There weren’t any trains there any more. Bits and pieces of metal that had fallen off trains years ago littered the ground. Small, rugged rocks surrounded the tracks. I loved the way they crunched under my sneakers. 

I liked trains, always had. I liked to pick up the pieces of metal, rusted from years of sitting out in the weather, and try to figure out what part of the train they might have belonged to. I liked to think about all the places that piece had been to before it had fallen off here. Even if they’d only been a few places that was sure a lot more than me. 

Someone had once told me the reason there were so many scraps of metal out here at the tracks. For years after the tracks had been shut down, the train cars had just sat here rusting away. I didn’t like that version of it though. I liked mine more and chose to believe it. 

I liked to think that the trains had been on so many journeys and seen so many places that by the time they got to my small, boring town they were exhausted and needed to shed some weight so they could carry on seeing more places. The trains let go of little pieces of metal they didn’t need anymore and left them here for me to find. I liked to think that the tracks were covered in memories. Old memories that had been waiting so long for someone to come and look at them that they had rusted. 

No one seemed to care about the tracks, or the trains or the memories. But I did. And while I wasn’t quite sure why I kept coming back, I did know that I couldn’t let those rusted memories sit there unseen. 

The sun had come out again by the time I reached the tracks. I wandered around for a bit, until I found a good spot to start. I sat down in dirt and rocks and picked up a small piece of metal. 

at day’s close 


The water gushing from the tap slams against the water below sending bubbles and currents ripping through it. The drain plug’s chain dances a slow, wavering sort of dance; the water its partner. The bubbles drift towards the other end. Thousands at first, but many quickly rise to the surface. The few that remain quickly spread out and reach a little further until they too rise.

The roar of the water echos around the clean tiled room. The temperature rises slightly as does the humidity. A worn but clean towel hangs on the rack, a missing space beside it. Upon the floor next to a clawed porcelain foot rests the second towel; folded neatly, a book resting on top. Beside the towel is a glass of ice water. Condensation coats the outside.

Further away from the bath, and therefore safe from any insueing splashes, lies a pile of clothes. They are rumpled and thrown in a heap, clearly ready for the laundry. A fluffy robe hangs from a peg on the closed door, waiting to be worn. 

Among all of this stands you. Shivering slightly but you know it won’t be long until you’re surrounded by warmth. It’s been a long day, stressful and fast paced. You want nothing more than to relax and let the day go little by little. 

The water is at your favorite depth now. You turn off the tap, listening to the faint squeek as you do so. You will need to  fix that, but now is not the time. Now is the time to relax. 

You are eager now, lifting your leg and plunging your foot into the water. It is too hot and you snatch it back out again. However, you don’t feel like being patient. So you step in; waving your hands around in an effort to combat the heat felt by your shins and feet. 

A second or two later you’ve begun to adjust. You move to the end and taking a deep breath, sit down. Your hands wave around for a little longer, but just like before your body quickly adapts. You release a large sigh, one fit for a giant, and close your eyes. You’ll read in a second, but right now all you want to do is let time slow down to a crawl. You let your mind relax and let the tension go from your body. You take another deep breath; your eyes open. 

The day seems to melt away from the heat of the water. You can feel everything relaxing. Relief overcomes you and a small smile finds its way onto your face. 

You are amazed, again, at the simple joy of a bath at the close of the day. 

Quiet vs Thoughts 


It was quiet.

Blissfully quiet.

The sound of a thousand thoughts no longer rattled. It was a quiet that reached down from the head to the toes; filling the body with calm. The muscles relaxed and the stomach unknotted. The headache left and the deep breaths returned.

In the quiet no thoughts came to distract. In the quiet the body could repair. In the quiet everything left and in its wake was a peaceful nothing.

Until a single thought wiggled through the quiet and squeeked:

“What should we have for dinner?”

Raindrops 


The water dripped down from the leaves to a slow rhythm. Drip, drip, drip. Among the branches were a number of small nests made lovingly of sticks and grasses. Small eggs and small baby birds were snuggled inside; their parents perched protectively on the rim or nestled in with their children. 

The storm had been a bad one. Lots of rain and heavy winds. Scarring the little ones into thinking they might be blown away along with their home. But the nests stayed put, protected from the harshest part of the storm by the canopy of green arching around them. 

Now that the storm had passed the sky was returning to a lighter grey, but was streaked here and there with swaths of dark storm clouds. The sun was slowly breaking its way through the blanket, casting a watery light that filtered down through the leaves of the tree. 

The families of birds stayed nestled and safe in their nests, listening as the insects began to find their way out from their hiding places. Animals soon began to join them, and the birds began to sing. 

The world was waking up after the storm. And the baby birds watched, from the safety of their nests, as the water dripped from the leaves to a slow rhythm. 

Drip, drip, drip. 

Calming Nature

surf-455761_1920Squishing the sand between my toes, I smile. Closing my eyes, I listen. Raising my arms to stretch out by my side, I sigh. I am content out here, the cold water lapping rhythmically against my ankles. A strong wind whips at my clothes and hair, flaring the first and tangling the later.

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Leaves crinkling beneath my feet, I inhale. Running my hand across the bark, I feel. Turning my gaze upward to the filtering sunlight, I sigh. I am content in here, the trees my protectors and the animals my friends. A light breeze travels among the trees, fluttering the leaves and making a soft, beautiful song.

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Pebbles shifting under my weight, I breathe. Gazing out across the landscape, I relax. Looking down at the valley far below, I sigh. I am content up here,  the mountains around me cast wonderful shadows upon each other and the ground. A swirl of air surrounds me, tugging at the worry and lifting it away.

___________________________

I close my eyes.

Opening them, I once more look out at the ocean, forest, mountains surrounding me, calm.

To Lay in the Sunlight 

  She opened her eyes, smiling. 

She was laying in the grass, looking up at the blue sky stretching out above her. Puffy white clouds skittered across the blue expanse in the light breeze. 

The long grass stalks swayed around her head. From time to time tickling her face and neck. Dandelions were nestled in the grass, protected from the quicker breezes. 

Taking a deep breath she took in the scent of fresh grass and the apple orchard  blossoms in the field next to her’s. Letting out the breath, she let her body relax and sink into the cool ground beneath her.  

The sun warmed her skin, and in turn warmed her entire body. She felt rejuvenated and content laying there in the sun. She smiled, closed her eyes… 

…and woke up.