STORY CUBE CHALLENGE 10 – FANTASIA 2 – DUE MAY 27, 2018 – THE ISLAND LABYRINTH

The Island LabyrinthStory Cube Dice 10 FANTASIA 2 due May 27 2018

The labyrinth wound around the forest, the path twisting and turning in on itself. It is the only one of its kind and size.  Legend has it a Wizard created it with the toss of a single magic sphere while fending off marauders wielding sharply spiked maces who were trying to overtake the island paradise.  Overnight the forest grew and the next morning the labyrinth appeared.

Searchers of the spiritual peace offered by the meditative walk arrive by ship then they are ferried into the small castle that serves as a home to the followers of the Goddess Flidias.  On special occasions, the kitchen roasts a pig and lays out a great feast.  The scent of searing meat enticing the feral cats out of hiding hoping to snag a scrap when the cooks weren’t watching.

With the sun beginning to brighten the morning sky, the meditators make their way onto the pathway to walk in contemplation, slowly pacing toward and away from the guardian trees, each quiet in the solitude of their own mind, alone amoung the many.

Their minds at peace, their hearts centred they return home with renewed spirits emanating a calming influence over the chaos of their daily lives.

 

Cheryle – May 31, 2018

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STORY CUBE CHALLENGE #9 – DUE MAY 13, 2018 – Crabs for Lunch

I am so late writing and posting this challenge story.  Not only am I late with this one, I am also late with the challenge story that was due on the 27th.  Oh well, I’m posting here now, however, I won’t be able to link it to the challenge.

CRABS FOR LUNCH

Story Cube Challenge 9 Voyages 3 due May 13 2018

The Crow landed lightly on the flagpole finial.  It’s sleek black feathers glistening in the sunlight, the Jolly Roger snapping smartly in the westerly winds.    “Caw Caw”, it cried “Shiver me timbers the wind is cold up here”.  It’s two dark friends called back, one from the Crow’s Nest atop the Main Mast, the other strutting back and forth on the Foremast, “The seas are choppy, the storm is tracking this way”, “the pirates are going ashore.”

As the pirates lowered the Jolly Boat, the three Crows lifted off and glided to the tents erected just above the high water line on the beach.

Outside the largest brightest tent the King adjusts his crown while bending down to poke at one of the crabs scuttling over the sand.  “Mmmm, these would make a delicious luncheon,” he says looking at Cook stirring the pot on the camp stove.  “Yes, your Highness”, the cook replies, “I will have one of the kitchen pages collect enough for roasted crab for lunch” as he snaps his fingers at one of the apron clad young men pouring oil from a flask over a platter of grilled sliced cactus.

The Captain steps down into the Jolly Boat, removes his glasses and wipes the water splashes away with the tail of his shirt.  “Here we goes boys, Parley”!

 

Cheryle – May 29, 2018

STORY CUBE CHALLENGE #8 – ACTIONS 2 – JORGA AND ME

Story Cube Dice ACTIONS for story No 8 due April 29 2018

My best friend is Jorga, a tall black beauty with dark sparkling eyes and just a bit of tawny surrounding her snout and jowls.  We agree on everything.  At first glance, she appears to be very serious, but one look at her flopped over ears and you will see she is just a silly willy forever trying to herd squirrels.  Me, I’m small, mostly white with a few brown spots and long brown ears.  My hair is longer than Jorga’s.  I’m the serious one, all business when it comes to chasing birds.  I haven’t yet caught one, but boy when I do watch out.  I mostly practice with balls, but I’m very good at spotting and retrieving sticks big as logs.

Jorga’s Dad and my Mom are best friends too. Sometimes they bring us to the park and walk together holding hands while Jorga and I play, steal each other’s toys and chase our tails. Once in a while, they will ask us to speak to them and when we say nice things we get delicious treats.

We weren’t so rewarded last week when the siren music was playing outside. Jorga and I sang along in perfect harmony, however, in our excitement we got carried away, started roughhousing and knocked over a vase.  Voices were raised and fingers were shaken.  Both of us tucked our tails, ran and hid under the bed.  We were in even more trouble when my Mom stepped on a piece of the broken vase leaving the scent of blood all over the entranceway.  Jorga’s Dad wrapped up my Mom’s Owie and carried her to the couch for a rest then wiped away the scent of blood.

We stayed hidden under the bed, snuggled together having a nice sleep until it was time for dinner. I am happy Jorga is my best friend; she makes a nice warm place for me to rest my head and doesn’t eat all the food in my dish.

Cheryle  April 29, 2018

Check out more submissions at  A ‘lil Hoohaa Story Cube Challenge

Day 17: Your Personality on the Page – Blogging U – Writing 101

Today’s Prompt: We all have anxieties, worries, and fears. What are you scared of? Address one of your worst fears.

Today’s Twist: Write this post in a style distinct from your own.

Monsters

Donny is asleep in bed, tucked in nice and neat.  A few stuffed toys are laying on top of the blanket draped across the bottom of the bed.  The room is dark and quiet, you can hear the gentle breathing of the 4 year old.

A few seconds pass.  Off in the distance a train whistle goes off.  The wind outside has picked up a little, the tree outside the 2nd floor window rubs against the glass, causing a squeaking scratching sound followed by a short tap tap.

Donny begins to whine a little and move about in his bed. His breathing starts to quicken. Over the next 60 seconds he moves more frantically and his breathing becomes erratic.

Donny takes an automatic deep breath as if he is rising out of deep water.  He opens his eyes, which dart around the room until they settle on the open closet.

A rustle is heard, coming from the closet.  Donny gasps, holds his breath, and squeezes his eyes shut.  As his he does so, out of the closet steps a Giraffe, head first followed by the body.

Still holding his breath, Donny opens one eye, the other quickly opens in terror.  In front of him reaching to the roof is the Giraffe. Behind the Giraffe peeks a Gorilla, and out from under the Giraffe’s legs walks a lioness, sniffing the air with caution.

Donny lets out a whimper and pulls the covers over his head. He is shivering and crying quietly, so as not to be heard by the animals.

The Giraffe checks out the light fixture on the ceiling, spinning the fan as he tries to nibble the wooden blades.  The Gorilla picks up a stuffed monkey left on the bottom of the bed and holds it to her chest as if it were her own.  The Lioness leaps up on the bed and pads up to the head where Donny is hiding under the covers.

Crying loudly now, Donny is visibly shaking through the blankets.  The Lioness sniffs around Donny’s head, then gently paws at the blankets. The Giraffe leans over grabs the blankets with his teeth.  He pulls them down exposing Donny’s teary face while the Gorilla lumbers up to the far side of the bed still cradling the stuffed toy.

A brave little boy, he opens his eyes, one at a time. When both are open the Lioness steps closer, gives Donny a big wet lick, lays down beside the startled boy and lets out a quiet gruff. The Gorilla tucks the little stuffed monkey in beside Donny and curls up amoung the other stuffed animals at the end of the bed.  The Giraffe takes a moment, folds his legs, settles down comfortably onto the carpet and rests his long neck and head on the bed.  His face nuzzles Donny’s.

Wary, Donny reaches out from under the blankets, touches each animal in turn.  As he pets them they let out small murmurs of contentment and soon begin to snore.  He takes long looks of disbelief, from the Lioness, to the Gorilla and to the Giraffe.  Little Donny falls asleep with a huge smile covering his face as the tears he shed dry.

Off in the distance a train whistle blows long and slow, the wind dies down and the sun starts to filter through the closed curtains.  Donny begins to rustle himself awake.  As he opens his eyes he looks around in expectation.  He is tucked tightly in his bed, alone.

Cheryle – May 2015

Day 12 – Foreshadowing – Blogging U – Writing 101

Day Twelve: Dark Clouds on the (Virtual) Horizon

Day Twelve’s Prompt: Write a post inspired by a real-world conversation.

Day Twelve’s Twist: Include an element of foreshadowing in the beginning of your post.

Sometimes Following the Rules Does Make Life Easier

Trying to navigate the crowds of anonymous people all wandering around in the market was beginning to frustrate me.  Their individual features have begun to blend together.  I am so glad, I am done searching for that last ingredient which will tie together all aspects of my dinner party.

It took me forever to decide what I wanted to serve.  I spoke to all my friends, researched various dishes on the internet and thought long and hard about how each dish would interact with the others.

I followed the recipe list, have all the ingredients now and am standing in the checkout line.  I can relax and enjoy the preparations for the evening.  I daydream about how wonderful the event will be, everyone happy, enjoying the food and refreshments, the company and conversation.

“I can’t believe she made us stand in line!” I’ve been living in this neighbourhood for 6 years, I paid my taxes.” Words spoken above the din of the registers and voices of the customers broke into my quiet thoughts.

“You’d think by now they would know where I live” a rough voice said behind me.

“I never received one of those card thingy’s” interjected another voice tinged with annoyance. “They certainly don’t make it easy to vote!”  “All the rules, the paper work”, “my tax return has all information they need, I don’t understand why I have to register again.” Whined another voice standing further back in the line.

“We stood there wasting our time while all those others were being waved through”. Chimed in the first voice.

Before I knew it I could hear my voice “Excuse me.  Are you talking about the election yesterday?”

“Yes” responded the man closest to me.  “Some people got cards, we didn’t and had to wait around to be registered”.  “It just stupid, they have all my information, they know where I live, at least they do when it comes time for me to pay taxes.”  “They’d find me fast enough if I didn’t pay.” He chuckled.

I looked him in the eyes, I could see he was one of the uncooperative people who don’t help out the census survey workers.  Yes, I saw many people like this as I walked all those miles, all those days, trying to get all the information I was tasked to obtain.  Consider, I was not allowed to turn in my sheets, until I collected information from at least 99% of the households in my area. Meaning I had to return to a non-reporting household 14 or 15 times, even then most likely walking away empty handed.    Yes, I know this person.  I can hear it in his voice and see it in his face.

I smile sweetly, the way only an old woman can. “Your taxes have nothing to do with the election.”  “The reason you were standing in the registration line, most likely, is because you were missed during the last Census.  If you weren’t home when the census collector came by or you misplaced the note with the return phone number they left.”

I switched to my, eat your veggies they are good for you, voice. “There are people who are wary of the census, thinking it is a ploy of big brother.  You must know that the Municipal, Provincial and Federal Governments aren’t that coordinated.  Even though it would serve them well to share the information gathered, they can’t, legally, and don’t have the processes in place to do so.”

I looked from one to the other and gave them my best, I am so disappointed in you, voice. “Can you imagine some people abuse these workers terribly?  Should the worker have the unfortunate opportunity to have one of these people actually answer the door,  they refuse to answer the survey questions, complain in colourful offensive language, attack the worker personally and slam the door in the poor Census takers face, leaving them to feel the wind of the contempt on their confused face.”  “What a shame.”

I continued my quiet tirade, “Unfortunately, when the government can’t collect the most recent information, the old information is used and the people living in these non-reporting households have to go through the registration process to vote.  As you had to do yesterday.”

Every single one of the nameless voices standing behind in the line looked at me as if I had spots. One turned away with guilt written all over his face.  Nevertheless, in my pleasant old lady way, I proceed to explain the ins and outs of the complex election process.   “The information gathered during the census generates the Where to Vote Cards which were issued to the people you saw waived passed you and directed to their designated Polling Station.”

I raised my hands to mime weigh scales,  “MMM,   3 minutes answering questions at your front door, or 6 – 8 minutes standing in a line waiting to provide your ID, answering a bunch of questions then standing in a 2nd line to receive your ballot to vote?”  My eyes twinkled, “for me it’s a no brainer.

Off in the distance I heard “Ma’m that will be $15.40 please.”  Ah, my groceries are ready.  I turn around, leave the voices of the line-up, pay my bill and walk on home, happy with myself for speaking up.”

Cheryle  May 2015

Day 20: The Things We Treasure – BLOGGING U – WRITING 101

My Most Prized Possession

My most prized possession?  I could write about my Cabin – my little RV, my access to heaven on the road to freedom.  I could write about my house, that I have loved for 26 years, built a life within, my sanctuary, my cave from the world when it becomes overwhelming.  It isn’t my collection of books.  Over the years I have learned to let them go and not become attached when I bring home new ones.  It’s not my paintings or the binder full of my poetry that records my progress from childhood to the present.

What do I pull out lovingly every so often, pour over for days when I am in the mood, and would want to take with me if I could only bring one thing? I would have to say my most prized possession, is the broken down cardboard box containing the photographs that tell the story of my life, my family and friends.

I know photographs aren’t really possessions, they are tangible but not possessions.  Photographs are memories brought to life through technology.  A moment in time, stolen for a reminder later in life.

Contained in that torn cardboard box that  I have taped and re-taped over the years ares the lives of my parents, my parents parents, my sisters, cousins, uncles and aunts, friends, colleagues and people I don’t even know.  They tell two stories.  The first one a history of my family.  The second story a history of photography. The earliest photos were taken with little brownie cameras, black and white. Grainy tales of a time long gone. The pictures then graduate from polaroid’s to instamatics then to various 35 mm SLR’s and finally to my lovely digital Nikon D60 and the ever durable waterproof bright red Ricoh.  I have lost three of the Ricoh’s.  If you find them you will know they are mine, they have my pictures on them.

These precious photographs, hidden on the shelf in the basement behind ancient school year books,  show farm life, city life, camping life and just life.  The pixie cut, the bob, the shag, the curly perm, the relaxed perm, the perm set with infrared lights and the dye jobs.  The little white dresses three year olds wore in the 50’s, the mini skirt, the midi- skirt, the maxi coat, bikini, the skort, the tube top, the several Canadian Forces uniforms and a few costumes worn for various stage productions.  They take me on a trip around the world. Well, at least Canada.  Toronto, Alliston, Montreal, cottage country, Ottawa, the Maritimes, Saskatchewan, BC, Vancouver Island, Alberta, many other cities in those provinces and back again.

Some of these little glossy, matte or fingerprint proof squares are, loose sorted in a not sorted order, others are put inside little photo books and albums, many are left inside their envelopes with or without their negatives.

Yes, these photos are the only things that cannot be replaced.  Yes, I can conjure the memories in my mind and reminisce without the tangible reminders, but as long as I can, I will love hauling out that tattered box, and touching every single shot taken of the past.

Cheryle  May 2015

Day 13 – Blogging U – Writing 101 – Serially Found

Day 13’s Prompt: write about finding something.

Day 13’s twist: if you wrote day four’s post as the first in a series, use this one as the second installment — loosely defined.

Since I submitted a Petrarchan Sonnet for the previous post in this series, I have attempted to follow it up with a Terza Rima. The Terza Rima form follows aba bcb cdc ded etc repeat with lines the same length.  It is usually in iambic pentameter, but I strayed from this requirement plus I switched up the last stanza.

This is such a formal form, I don’t think my voice rings through.

Charlie

 .

Black and white kitty with a moustached face

Lost or abandoned, feral life of hell

Ferocious hunter, pouncing prey a race

 .

Secret neighbourhood paths you know so well

Hidden from humans your gender a guess

Male, female, spayed, neutered? No one can tell

 .

Well-mannered kitty never leaves a mess

Human wary, those brooms and boots they toss

Warm engine blocks dangerous for a rest

 .

Harmless hands held out, no scent to betray

Sniffs, licks, purrs, a memory of your loss

Soft fur baby move in my home today.

 .

Cheryle  April 2015         Terza Rima