littlewonder2

Little wonder we stumble in life.


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The Final Trifecta: In The Cold

I can’t believe Trifecta is finally ending! Well, after all the entries I’ve contributed to our community, it’s only right I should come back for just one more. I wrote this back in February, but now I’m repurposing it for this final hurrah.

She huddled against the cold, clinging to the one tiny pocket she had in front of her and chilled to the bone everywhere else. She had been forced into this corner, once having all the luxuries of a bed and now forced into the cold hard floor in the middle of winter. Just outside the door, she heard voices. Full of bitterness, she listened.

“Do you think there’s any hope for her?”

She could see his face, just imagine it in her mind. Her brother. She felt nothing but hate for him, something he would never understand through all his little denials of the weight of his guilt. Nothing would ever be enough, not anymore. Her hate for him was the only thing that kept her strong.

“There could be,” explained a stranger. Could he have brought her some doctor to take her away? “I mean, from what you’ve told me… that is, she won’t agree with me, but I feel like I can understand…” A shuddering breath. So maybe not a doctor.

“What she said about… hating you being her only strength. I mean, yeah. I can get that. I think right now, her family’s her only hope. She doesn’t know it now, but there can be more… if she can find the strength in hate, maybe she can find a different strength. Not in you, perhaps, she hates you far too much for that, but her family… if she can find some love in them, maybe there’s still a chance for her to one day… forgive you too.”

The very thought made her furious. Forgive him! There was nothing in all the world to make her forgive him, not if she lived for a hundred years! She would never forgive, she never could, she refused! He had taken everything from her, her entire life! And there was nothing shameful in strength from hate. She would do anything, if it meant that she would be strong; anything, if it meant she would never be weak again! It was worth it in the end…

“I hope so,” he said, and she wanted to tear him from the earth. “But even if she doesn’t… it’s okay. I just want her to be happy again.”

He had everyone else fooled, but he didn’t fool her! He had all the strength of luxury, while she suffered in the cold! And even if she suffered it all, he remained blind to what it truly felt for her. He would never understand, so she could never forgive him. Just the very thought made her stomach turn.

He could never be forgiven. Her mind was too far gone for forgiveness. It rose like bile in her throat.

She curled harder into herself, desperate from that little bit of warmth to spread just a little further. She was freezing.

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BlogFestivus #5 – Tiny Tim

I figure I owe you this dinner. You saved my life five years ago.”

Tim grinned. “Does that make me your saviour?”

“Don’t get ahead of yourself,” said Scrooge. “I was depressed, anything might have done it. All you did was give me your hand. I’m the one who pulled myself out.”

“Yeah, whatever. I saved you, just admit it,” said Tim. “Anything might have done it, but nothing might have happened, either. You could’ve died.”

“This is my thanks, this dinner,” said Scrooge. “Don’t rub it in.”

“So tell me the story,” asked his father, and for the briefest blink of the eye, Scrooge saw his own father staring back at him, that constant judging look, that never-wavering stare that caused lesser men to break down in front of him. But then it was gone in the blink of an eye, and there was Timothy’s father, smiling brightly with an odd light in his eyes.

“I was at the end of my rope,” explained Scrooge. “I hated the world around me and everyone in it. And yet, even after I tried to brush him aside, your son didn’t relent. Now, I’m not like one of these depressive kids these days out for attention, but what he did was open me up again to the world. I decided then and there that it was time to change.”

“Inspiring story,” Tim’s father agreed. “We could all learn from it.”

Note: This is a little late, but I got stuck without internet for about half a week. Better late than never, I say!

happy-blogfestivus-2013

Linda penning at linda vernon humor
Tom over at Shouts from the Abyss
Maria-Christina blogging at MCWhispers
Dylan of Treatment of Visions
Sarah from Parent Your Business
Dawn blogging at Lingering  Visions
K8edid from k8edid
Eileen from Not The Sword But The Pen
Lindsey at RewindRevise
Kandy of Kandy Talk
Theodore from This Blog Needs A Title
Sandra writing at In Love With Words
Natalie from So I Went Undercover
Jen at Blog It or Lose It
Amelie from In the Barberry
Cee Cee blogging at Cee Cee’s Blog
Ashley from LittleWonder2 (this is me)
BD writing Blogdramedy


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Rebellion is for Losers

She grinned from ear to ear, admiring her wavy blonde hair and her soft pink dress in the mirror. Today was the day she was going to meet the prince who she was arranged to marry.

She’d heard from her mother that he was a little bit older than her, but he was handsome and kind. From her father, she heard he was powerful, and had wide tracts of land.

She placed her tiara on her, forcing herself to calm down enough to gracefully float downstairs to meet her parents.

He arrived at a little past ten. He had a goofy grin that was out of place with his regal attire. His hair was black and curly, and would’ve made him look ordinary but for the style, all trim and smooth, like he was wearing a silk wig.

He had high, soft cheekbones, and a small gold crown that could’ve matched her own. It was like destiny.

“Royals of the court, I present Prince Benedict.”

Even his name was regal. She melted.

Her mother lead her out towards him. She felt butterflies. “I am Queen Margaret. This is my daughter, Princess Elizabeth.”

“It’s a pleasure,” said Benedict.

She learned more about each other at the lunch table. He was 35, and she was 23. Not a bad match, to be fair. And he was rather handsome and approachable. She’d never met someone so kind.

“I love the court politics,” she told him. “I hope to one day make my country proud as queen. The only thing I’m looking forward to more is marriage. It’s such an exciting adventure, don’t you think?”

“You certainly strike me as adventurous,” he told her. “And you’re very loyal.”

“I need something to do all day. I can’t let myself become idle or I might get lazy.”

“Oh, I think you’re in no danger there,” said her mother. “You’re so ambitious.”

“Maybe you ought to slow down a bit sometimes,” suggested Benedict. “Sometimes the people want someone to relate to.”

“They want someone to look up to.”

“See, this is why you’d be such a good match,” interrupted her father. “You fill each other out so well. For the good of the kingdom.”

When they were together, she was so respectful. He never pressured her. It was in moments like these she knew her father was right.

They were just destined for each other. She couldn’t wait for the wedding.

Yes, I know it’s a bit Tangled meets Benedict Cumberbatch, but whatever. I like this one. A response to a dare: create a non-rebellious princess.


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Dull On My Feet – Daily Prompt

Dull – Daily Prompt

Perhaps I should explain this. I went with my mum to the local Uni recently; I looking into going next year to study a Double Major of Japanese and Creative Writing. This scene was when we were in line to talk to Admissions.

My feet are sore; strained, burning heels. I rock back and forth, fidgeting. How much longer?

“Do you need to go to the toilet?” mom asks.

“No, I don’t,” I say. I don’t say I’m fine, because I’m bored, and my feet ache.

How much longer? When are these people done? How much bloody longer, already?

Finally, someone is free to ask. “Can I help you?” she asks.

Before I can respond, mum says, “We’re just waiting.”

Oh, that is so cryptic. I hope the woman understands…

“Okay,” the woman says, and passes on.

Dammit, mum, you had one job! I should’ve just talked.

“Can you help us?” mum calls, and the woman comes back.

Relief. Answers, finally.


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A Sombre Drama… My First Funeral

Recently, my nanna died. I’ve been tossing up whether to write about this or not, but I feel like I just had to.

A little backstory: Because of something my dad did years ago, we’ve been cut out of his family’s lives. It was a stupid decision, one felt not to be in nanna’s proper interests, and one that made him — and the rest of us, by association — hated by them. They didn’t even tell him four years ago when one of them died.

So recently, we travelled down from the Sunshine Coast where we live (except for my sister, who lives in Brisbane) to go to nanna’s funeral. Gladly, we weren’t hit by outright abuse; two of the women closest to nanna (known hereafter as V and A) simply treated us civilly. One of them, though, an old friend of nanna’s, slipped dad a hate note just before the service. So now, at least we’re clear on their feelings against us…

For clarity, I’ll be keeping certain members anonymous, by referring to them by the first letter of their names.

This is my story.

We were the first behind the hearse. After everyone had arrived, it was now time to drive to the grave site. Aunt A and K were there, and they’d seemed civil enough, but all I could help thinking was how Anne must feel about us being first. Dad had arranged the funeral too; no doubt she probably thought that was her area.

“Are we going the right way?” asked mum out loud.

“I don’t know,” said dad. “I think the driver must be a little confused… I don’t think we came through this way before…”

Actually, we had. I recognised the rows of Jewish graves that we had passed, now out the left window.

I was just wording my response in my head, sorting out the markers in my head when mum exclaimed, “Oh, yes we did! We passed that Russian building before…”

It was more like a huge gazebo, with pointed dome shapes for window frames. It was blue and white, with a bench inside the middle.

And she was right, of course, we had passed it. But I could’ve told her that we had passed this whole section if I’d told them earlier. Speaking of which, why didn’t I? What was it exactly that I saw before…

We arrived soon, and parked away close by. I took the bouquet we’d bought earlier, half carnations and half yellow roses, and carried it over.

The reverend, who was now there and dressed in his long white garb, looked at me as I arrived. “Will you be placing that with the coffin?”

I looked around at my family and mum filled in the question. She then took the flowers away, and opened up the wrapping. She wanted each of us to take a flower. Dad and I took a carnation; mum and Kristi took a yellow rose.

Mum hastily or messily wrapped the bouquet up again and placed it on a field of green tarp where a number of other bouquets had been placed. It looked haggard compared to the others.

As we stood around, waiting for everyone to arrive and the service to start, nanna’s old friend V slipped a note into dad’s suit pants pocket. “To be read after ther funeral,” she said. It sounded important.

Casting the odd sight aside, I took my position facing the modern line of graves, where the reverend would be addressing an intimate audience of those seven of us and nanna’s nurses at the home where she’d spent the last years of her life.

“Mina lived for 91 years. Now, looking around at all the faces here, I can see all kinds of people who knew her. She was a wonderful sister, mother, wife, grandmother and friend. Everyone here will have different memories of her, but I doubt that everyone here will have known her for all of those 91 years.”

“Hm,” I agreed, nodding.

“I give my deepest condolences to those she left behind, Ken, Tami, Kristi, Ashley and –”

My attention perked up at the mention of my name, and as I finished listening to the names he gave, I noticed he didn’t say A’s. She wouldn’t like that, either I thought.

I looked over at her. She was leaning into K, an open frown on her face, her eyes rimmed with tears. That made sense, at least. She loved nanna, it was the whole reason she hated dad, and what was a funeral without tears and mourning?

The reverend had now started on a list of meaningless events that had happened on the year she was born, 1921. I didn’t think that would help anyone, certainly not A, with her memory. I tried to listen anyway, but these things meant nothing to me. I don’t know so much about the 20s.

Then he handed it over to dad, who took charge as he always does. The first thing he said was bring up one of those events, the only one I really heard, “because Mina really liked that. In reality, she was just like The Little Rascals too…”

And proceeded to tell a story I never knew, that nanna had apparently told all the time, about how she or someone else had lopped off the toe end of someone’s shoes…

As the service went on, and the reverend started to speak again, I remained silent, even through the prayers, playing with the leaves of my flower, looking over at A a few more times, who didn’t change much.

Then finally, “I see that some of you have flowers. Would you like to place them on top of the coffin?”

I had seen it happen, that the tarp with everyone’s bouquets had been laid aside and that the coffin had been placed on two flat bars over the open grave and looped through with rope.

Dad went first then, nervously, me. Everyone else with flowers lined up after and had their turn, and my family grouped up on the other side.

When all the flowers had been placed against the coffins bouquet, the coffin was held with the ropes, the bars removed, the coffin lowered.

“Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.”

Finally, the tarp, placed over a metal grate, covered the grave. The service was over.

People gathered in groups now, talking. I saw A take her and K’s bouquet off the tarp and offer it to the nurses at nanna’s old home. In turn, others also took their bouquets away. Only ours remained. Mum thought, and I agreed, that nanna should have at least one bouquet for herself. Messy as it was, it was hers now…

A soon cheered up after the service at least when I saw her talking with the others, and eventually she made her way to us. She learned that Kristi had gotten married last year, to great excitement and congratulations on her part. Then she asked me what I was I was up to. Great.

“She’s currently looking for work right now…” mum filled in for me. “And she’s also writing a book.”

“Oh, what’s it about?”

I looked down. In the first place, I was too embarrassed to mention the book. In the second, I always had trouble with that question, even if I knew.

“Vampires,” said mum.

“Oh…” said A, distaste in her voice.

I shrugged. Whatever. It didn’t change the fact that Dawn’s a lot like Anne.

A hugged Dad and Kristi when we left. I was afraid to go in for a hug in case she didn’t want to. “Do you mind if I hug you?” mum asked.

“I do mind, actually,” said A, seeming to hug herself in discomfort.

I nodded. Fair enough.

In the car, though, we found out what V’s letter had been. “I can’t believe that she lumped me in with you,” mum fretted. Soon I learned what she meant. “The letter. She told us both to rot in hell.”


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Friday Fictioneers – Deserting Home

Copyright - Janet Webb

There was no going out tonight. Not here, not ever again… I couldn’t even take my writing. I left my dress hanging out over the balcony, and my notebook there on my bed.

I felt a tug from my heart as I left my bedroom for the last time. We could take nothing with us. It was too poisonous, the radiation already exceeding the Ukraine.

I was just a teenager. I didn’t want any of this. Leaving everything I knew and loved. My mama held me in her arms. Within hours, the streets would be empty.

Time to leave… Chernobyl.

For Friday Fictioneers.


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Writing is like Exercise

I was recently rewriting my About Me page, when I started thinking about hobbies I enjoy. One of them, which I didn’t mention, is Boxing.

Recently, within the last two months, I’ve started eating healthily and exercising. I now go to the gym and I have a personal trainer named Jess. I often do boxing exercises when I work out with Jess; I find it motivates me, I enjoy it, and I’ve always carried a store of anger with me that it lets me express.

Exercise also helps me in my writing, if for no other reason than my characters live active, dangerous lives, and working my body helps me put myself in theirs.

But I’ve also begun thinking recently that, although many writers don’t do a whole lot of exercise — indeed, for a while in my own writing, I’ve used the fact that I’m a writer as an excuse why I didn’t have to exercise — the two activities aren’t so different.

Both require discipline of sorts. Both are beneficial; one to the mind, and the other to the body. I’ve even begun to think that the two things together are important to the whole, that a person needs both to be a satisfied or balanced person.

Balance, I’ve thought for a while now, is important in anyone. Not extremes, which makes you biased and closed-minded, but a medium between them.

Of course, I believe that bias is inevitable in any person. No matter who you are, I believe there’s always something to overcome. But the point is, in the case of brain vs. brawn, of athletes versus writers, there need not even be a contest.

If books are soul food, then exercise is just as important for movement. That feeling in your muscles… is life speaking to you. And that’s just as important as the words you use to describe it.