Passover

The coffee had just changed from the drip to the steady stream in the pot. He contemplated just sticking his face in position to shoot it straight down his throat, but he didn’t think he could fit his head and even if he could, he’d singe (at least) the back of his hair.

Bugs Bunny noises followed by giggles made it into the kitchen. He was proud somehow that the munchkins liked old cartoons. He liked the style of them. ‘Course, he made sure to have serious conversations about racist ones, but when they were good, they were really good.

Continue reading

Advertisements

The Kitchen

The kitchen should have looked different after she left. There was no teenage daughter grating the cheese, sitting on the counter, even though she knew her dad hated it. The off-white counters imperceptibly scratched by her jeans. Mom ran her fingers over the marks only she could see before wiping them down before bed. Eighteen years in this kitchen with Julie at her feet, at her hip, at the stove, and on the counters. The kitchen wasn’t changed without her, it would wait patiently for Thanksgiving when new stories would fill it.

The air in the kitchen was bubbly. Mom wondered if Julie was remembering to breathe as she talked through the first semester. The phone calls hadn’t been enough to really capture it. The friends, the seasons, the air, the classes. Julie rolled out the pie crust over her scratches, grinding the dusted flour in. Mom shared her stories at the stove, making the filling, but left a few key details out.

She scrubbed at the counter-top. Grimed of some form had settled into the seams and scratches. They couldn’t afford to replace it while Julie finished college. Elbow grease and stubbornness would get it looking like new. Julie han’t come home for the summer, like Mom had hoped. Her internship was in a different city, a different state. Thanksgiving was out as well. She was heading to a professor’s house or doing a dorm meal. Something. College was supposed to be exciting and new experiences, but Mom wanted her little girl home. Just for a few days. Mom ran her right nail into Julie’s scratches, coaxing out whatever green gunk had gotten in there.

Julie sat on the counter over her scratches, kicking the cabinets, eyes glued to her phone. Mom’s attempts to get a story or some help were met with mild acknowledgment of her existence. The vegan sausages, carefully separated from the others, started to smoke, asking to be turned. “Julie! Please put the phone down and make a salad for dinner!” Julie’s parents-are-so-whatever sigh harmonized with scraping across the counter as she slid off. “Watch the counters!” “Why? Their gross, Mom. That looks like mold.” Julie’s scratches had turned black.

Mom hadn’t been able to stop sliding her hands across the new granite counter-tops. They were unbelievable smooth. She ran her fingers over it mindlessly as she watched her daughter, trying not to stare. Julie sat at the kitchen table, phone down, looking out the window. No sitting in jeans on the counters this time. “That’s okay, Mom, I can just sit here.” She’d been home for a month, not talking more than yes and no and I don’t want to talk about that right now. Mom ached to fix whatever had happened. She’d somehow thought just getting her baby home would do it.

The nicks in the counter were from wear and tear but had ended up on the same piece of counter-top real estate where Julie’s had been. She was home from her new job in the city. Close enough to visit but far enough to be separate. Mom sat at the table, as Julie made dinner. Still quiet in the kitchen, but the job was there to ground her, to give her something safe to discuss. She was doing well, getting back on her feet, planning for what was next. Mom listened.

Julie wiped down the kitchen counters and looked around at the boxes. Mom finished labeling them and surveyed the space. Julie’s partner and son were out in the yard, staying mostly out of the way and out of trouble. Mom opened the fridge and pulled out last thing left. She tossed the wine cork into the trash bag, hopped up on the counter, scratching her jeans along it. After taking a long swig, she patted the space next to her, and Julie jumped up. Julie leaned into her mom and rested her head on her shoulder. “I’m gonna miss this place.” Mom handed her the wine bottle. “Yeah, me too.”

 

Story inspired by this prompt.

A 10 Sentence Love Story

Today’s story is from this prompt. I am a glutton for feedback, so feel free to leave comments. And don’t forget to vote for your favorite May story!


The date is a joke; a dare from other friends who don’t understand our bromance. The dress she wears, though, reveals the kissable swan curve of her neck and the way my hands fit perfectly on slope of her waist. The after-dinner hockey and cookie dough somehow morphs into her fingers twisting in my curls and purring how easy, how surprisingly natural this all felt. We fight stereotypes for a good 6 days. She moves in, and we adopt a cat. I hold her hand when her mom passes away, and she lets me sob into her shoulder when keeping the cat alive becomes cruel. We meet our first daughter in another state with her birth parent and our second at home with a midwife. Before our kids start school, we move out of the city, planning to move back after they graduate. Our grandkids join the family just as she starts to leave. But I make her promise every night to let me go first.

Holiday: Day 28 of the Story A Day Challenge

Today’s prompt is to write a holiday-themed story. I’m a little crunched for time tonight (giving myself about 30 minutes to write this), so it is just a beginning.


 

The first Christmas Eve is an embarrassment of presents. The first grandchild is here. Adults outnumber children, even counting one teenage aunt and one teenage uncle as kids. Amongst the plastic, newborn toys are eight “Baby’s First Christmas” ornaments, handpainted on glass. Grandma found them to preserve this moment of change in the family.

Continue reading

Action: Day 11 of the Story A Day Challenge

Today’s prompt is here. Because I did not have much time to fill out yesterday’s story, I used today’s prompt to build on that idea and finish it.
——-
She knew this presentation backwards, forwards, inside, and out; she gave it a good twenty times a day at least. But she loved it, and her eyes lit up every time. Carnivorous plants were so cool. They found a way to live in nutrient deserts and had so many tricks to attract their prey.

She is just getting to the part about how some of them grew so large in the wild that they can trap frogs and small mammals when shouts and screams reach her from the tiger pen. Her walkie talkie goes off, but other ‘keepers are already running over there. She starts running mid-sentence.
Continue reading