Robin Hawke


Note
February 24, 2012, 2:32 PM
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The writing on the note was plain, a jumble of capitals and lower case. The paper was perforated, a jumble of lines and holes. The ink was smeared. And I read the words of a liar. I tried correlating them to experiences and memories without success. Staring at the truncated crossings of letters t and f, the open loops of letters g and p, I noticed the haste in the letters I, I, I, the fear I would interrupt him in the gaunt y, o, u. In my search for shreds of content, meaning disintegrated into picked bones on stone.

Friday Fictioneers

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Coq au Vin
February 10, 2012, 3:45 PM
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Choose firm, earthy-colored mushrooms. Discard those with spots or slimy gills. Brown everything in sizzling butter: floured chicken, pearl onions, mushrooms, some carrots, much garlic with a pinch of thyme. Be rash, use high heat to sear these flavors. My recipe departs from the traditional one—here—when everything caramelizes, gets crusty, pour wine in the pot. Submerge everything in wine. Add more. Open another bottle. Forget chicken stock; forget hoarding mushrooms until the last fifteen minutes of cooking; forget it all while there’s time to grab another romp through the woods. Let everything simmer while you stoke appetites.

Friday Fictioneers

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Love Letter
February 8, 2012, 2:43 PM
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I am missing, but not from your thoughts. Or yours from mine: I polish each of our dreams, impatient as ever to rub them into existence.

Today is one of those winter days when the sun can’t break the clouds. The sky glows like moonstone. It wouldn’t you know, if the sun went AWOL. Think of me; think of the sun. Clouds will scuttle off—break like eggshells; hot rays will wake bulbs in the ground; surrounding arms will banish those sad thoughts of yours. All I wait for is a strong wind to blow me home.

I keep, if missing, missing you.

Do not fold my jeans away. Do not fold my letters with tears.

Click to read entries...Inspiration Mondays prompts...



Daybreak
February 3, 2012, 8:56 PM
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My purse is on the chair, the cat is under the bed, the dog is on the couch, the stash of money is in the pot in the cupboard above the stove, the cell phone is charged on the bedside table. Oh, what am I forgetting? Car keys—make sure they’re in the purse. Phone numbers, yes, we’ll need those in case we lose our way, addresses and the GPS. Oh, food, food, food. I’ll grab chips. Water, we have milk. In case that is not the sun: An axe, do you think we’ll need an axe? Or a gun?

Friday Fictioneers

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What’s up?
January 27, 2012, 2:35 PM
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What’s up?

The sky. That’s a silly joke, get it?

My mom tells me I’m unique. Different than Jerry. He’s my exact twin brother. I don’t know if that’s a joke. I don’t see it. We are both left-handed. We look alike but I’ve something more—a special mole on my nostril. Mom says an angel forgot to wipe off his kiss. And then she kisses me on the same spot and tries to wipe it away.

Today I told her. This time she made me sad. I don’t want to be a dishwasher. I want to be a conductor. Like Jerry does.

Friday Fictioneers

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A Door in a Tree
January 23, 2012, 5:03 PM
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Folks expect a door in a tree to be tiny—designed for elf and sprite homebodies—and that humans must bend double to pass from world to world. This door was tall; all right, I crooked my neck to cross the threshold of my kingdom.  Inside, there was plenty of frothy Guinness, friends and darts. After a round of golf, I’d order a shandy for my daughter and we’d replay our game. Stolen hours became ritual, our weekly outing, celebrations of  birdies and fifteen foot sinkers. Then, tourists found our niche, sat on our worn benches, and shared pictures of a castle in Paris and a tower in England.

I looked for a piece of land with its own aged baobab. Found one in another country, up the coast. I apologized to it before we began the work of hollowing. It’s a regret I keep: The interior lacked that oxidized, caramel color; my girl flew abroad for a degree; my knees betrayed me on the links. The next time there was a whisper in my ear, it was a nurse with a cup of pills. Another pint, another round.

Click to read entries...Inspiration Mondays prompts...



Fear
January 16, 2012, 2:44 PM
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I’ve sifted through possibilities. Every day, they become less probable. If wishes were dragons, I’ve nurtured leather-hard eggs. One by one, the eggs rot. My desperation grows. I fuss. I turn. I inspect.

Mythical creatures will play in my back yard. They will be freakish creatures of sweet mercy, if only wishes come true.

 

Click to read entries...Inspiration Mondays prompts...if wishes were dragons...



Disquiet
January 13, 2012, 2:21 PM
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They became insane: Worse than any flood, they felt the anguish of  an undeserved war. Worse than any fire, it never ended. Caught by hate, they nursed thoughts of revenge in paraplegic bodies.

They numbered few pleasures: When winds raged, they rent limbs. Satisfied with earthquakes and hurricanes, they blessed a fallen neighbor’s shower of bricks. The hole, another scar, left.

Without mouths, without ears or eyes, they understood our ruthless narcissism. Breathless, they fought back. In unison.

Their combat methods improved, unnoticed as a firmly pressed mouth: Soldiers in an outdated army, they dropped tiny acorns, bombs of mutation.

Friday Fictioneers

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Genteel
January 3, 2012, 9:49 PM
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Maxine, disenchanted and bored, visited a vintage dress shop. She tried every garment that fit, swirling down narrow aisles in impossible collars. Upon her choice—a revealing dress, cinched cerise—she devised her plans to abandon quotidian underwear, wondering how many dates would glimpse the saucy nutmegs from the fifties.

Click to read entries...quotidian prompt...



Holiday Hint #54
January 2, 2012, 4:43 PM
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This is a continuation of Holiday Hint #53 by joem18b:

There is no refuse, large item or recycling collection on the Mondays after Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. This schedule facilitates finding holiday decorations curbside. These Mondays are an excellent time to pick up deflated punching bags. Salvage a small patch of tape to stop air from hissing away.

 

100 Words for Grown Ups

The prompt this week is: …50/50: The Season….Click to read entries.



List
December 21, 2011, 3:11 PM
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Dressing: Oysters and cornbread or sausage and thyme?
Dressing: Satin bows or green-minded brown paper?
Dressing: A cornucopia of fruits and nuts or candles in holly?
Dressing: A wreath or a new coat of paint?

During the season of dressings, I’ll lift skirts to find cheer and my blessings.

 

100 Words for Grown Ups

The prompt this week is: …The Season….Click to read entries.



Buddha Rocks, Saturday
December 17, 2011, 3:32 PM
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Secrets in figured stone.
Other gods'.

This six word story is for the Buddha Rocks project. Photo credit: Eric Alder



Buddha Rocks, Friday
December 16, 2011, 8:41 PM
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A runner of water carpets all noise.
Don't stir.
Don't struggle with twine.

This thought is for the Buddha Rocks project. Photo credit: Eric Alder



A Tree
December 16, 2011, 4:40 PM
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Georgia’s favorite part about love was the freedom it gave her to be sentimental. That says it all, doesn’t it? She dredged old memories, mining them for romance. Georgia even asked a farmer to bring ugly trees to market. Every Christmas, she rushed to his stall where he twirled each pathetic specimen for her serious consideration.

So, there it stood, a fussed over weakling, the symbol of another tree found on an adventure trespassing between cow patties. Always a bald, scrawny thing, the tree never helped me recapture romance. What did an eyesore have to do with my sweet love?

Flash Friday

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Buddha Rocks, Thursday
December 15, 2011, 3:33 PM
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The future arrived on track. The weeds followed, green signals.

This ten word story is for the Buddha Rocks project. Photo credit: Eric Alder



A Summer Day
December 14, 2011, 9:00 PM
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This was life: salt water, my friend Ayres, and a large, green bottle of champagne. We waded, me in Spanish army boots with a suit hiking up my cheeks, her in a loose mens’ shirt. Low country waves smacked our knees on a day buttery with sunshine.

Our spirits drifted higher on each retold joke. She had the laugh to go with her goddess locks, the ones that went below her hips. Ayres loved a bargain, in humor and other departments. Today’s bargain: fresh crab.

I caught our dinner by throwing rotting chicken thighs out twelve feet to play mind games with blue crab. If I fiddled, pulled sideways when the crabs backed off, acted as if my poultry was distressed—I could tow the malcontents up my green boots. They’d hang on, sure of grip. She’d bend, wet strands of hair tangling with the crabs she netted.

Over frothing mouths, we drank our bubbly. We threw the females onto sand and watched them skitter back to water. I’d run beside them, feeling the sun burn my nose. When I ran back up the beach, we polished the champagne.

That night we enjoyed spicy boil and sweet crab with brown beer. We picked at shells, saving the claws for last. Turning to the television for the tides, we charted our next day’s venture as hunters.

Tandem divorces pulled at our friendship. When the bill collectors insisted on their due, she stopped answering phone calls, mine among them. Two years later, Ayres died of cancer. I lacked the green for a flight to see her put in the ground. The bargain—our good company—terminated in brine water.

Click to read more...Inspiration Mondays prompts...mind games...



Buddha Rocks, Wednesday
December 14, 2011, 4:22 PM
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Domesticated,
cubicles of industry—
tiger swarms.

This haiku is for the Buddha Rocks project. Photo credit: Eric Alder



Buddha Rocks, Tuesday
December 13, 2011, 3:58 PM
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The snowbirds marked dirty ice with an ancient two-step.

This ten word story is for the Buddha Rocks project. Photo credit: Eric Alder



Buddha Rocks, Monday
December 12, 2011, 4:53 PM
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Feeding snakes
and burying mice
inside a green cage.

This haiku is for the Buddha Rocks project. Photo credit: Eric Alder



Buddha Rocks, Sunday
December 11, 2011, 10:41 PM
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One Sunday, the skid marks disappeared.

This six word story is for the Buddha Rocks project. Photo credit: Eric Alder



100 Posts/Stories
December 4, 2011, 4:50 PM
Filed under: Three Sentence Stories | Tags: , , , ,

Today, I became the author of one hundred three sentence stories. I reread each one, some of the murky ones twice, in a search for themes. Be a better human, love others, find compassion, witness life–I work standard themes with unfailing hope that a few raindrops on a river add strength to a mighty current.



Release
December 3, 2011, 5:14 PM
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I get ruffled by the monotony. Soon, agitated and dreaming of escape, I circle the perimeter of my tiny cell. It is my exercise, this search for freedom. Under the cover of darkness, I sleep. Calm. Even dreams don’t disturb the dark.

My captors bring breakfast with daylight. It is expected. We have a loose agreement: I charm, they feed.

My gaze fixes on the narrow door. It opens. I scoot through. At last, I flitter free. This time, they’ve shut power to the overhead fan where I prefer to perch. And preen my feathers in the wide open world.

 

Read entries to the prompt...escape...



Help
December 2, 2011, 5:39 PM
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A ten minute wait turned into thirty. Finally, a banking representative approached Robert and motioned him to take a seat.

“How may I help you?”

The representative cocked her head as if listening intently.

“I used to have a coupon book. To pay my mortgage. On occasion, I would come inside, here, and pay Mary, the teller, with a deposit slip. All I required was my account number.”

The representative began to smile. “Yes?”

“Now, I receive a monthly statement. It’s four pages long—and I’m no longer allowed to use my coupon book or a teller. I have to wait for this statement in the mail.”

“As you know, our bank was purchased and with the purchase came different methodologies.”

“My complaint is not merely the inconvenience…”

“No?”

Robert felt as if he were talking to an answering machine.  “This new system is wasteful—four page statements, instead of narrow coupon slips. Three of those pages relay redundant information. Not to mention the extra postage your bank is paying to deliver four sheets of paper every month.”

“I understand. I apologize for the inconvenience.”

Robert wondered, Why is she smiling? “I’m bringing to your attention that the bank’s new policies are a waste of money and natural resources. I would hope this information gets passed up the chain to your superior.”

“Yes, sir. Is that all, sir? Do have a good day.”

Robert picked up his jacket. The representative called the next customer.

Click to read more...Inspiration Mondays prompts...Why is she smiling?...



Window
December 1, 2011, 3:21 PM
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The cat scooted across his path. Dylan swerved but felt a small bump as his bike ran over the tail. The owner must have watched events from the window because Dylan heard him shout. Next morning, a garbage can blocked the sidewalk. Escalating the small war, Dylan threw a rock at his neighbor’s house, shattering a pane of glass.

Dylan began taking the long way to school. A week went by without repercussions.

Returning, he noticed the scrap of board. He knew; he just knew.

Dylan salvaged some glass and putty from home to leave them on his neighbor’s stoop.

100 Words for Grown Ups

The prompt this week is: …photo by Teresita Abad Doebley….Click to read entries.



Too Soon
November 22, 2011, 3:29 PM
Filed under: Three Sentence Stories | Tags:

Her dream woke Sarah up.  Caught by fears her memories departed prematurely, at forty, she prepared for the rest of her life. It was an unlucky dream, which took years of adjustment.



Ablution
November 19, 2011, 3:06 PM
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Ellie loved the lake in front of her house at the foothills of the Appalachians. She swam daily in the jade waters. It didn’t feel like exercise; she liked to imagine she belonged in water. At the end of her swim, Ellie turned over to float on her back, her long white hair fanning out like a halo.

While her breathing calmed, Ellie’s feet drifted down to the bottom of the lake. When her legs became leaden, her swim was over. Without urgency, she waded up the embankment.

After the heavy snow, they found her floating, gaseous, blue and white.

Read entries to the prompt...snow...



Penned
November 18, 2011, 4:53 PM
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He was a weasel. My boyfriend. He slithered whenever I wanted to talk. I asked for help with the dishes—he left with a grin and something important to do. Things were so bad, I pondered a Dear Weasel letter. But, he’d see me through another fit before sidling, a fistful of hair left behind.

The coarse brown hair reminded me of something. I found a riding stable, rented a horse, followed a trail, and plucked a long tail. The weasel hair, the horse hair and one piece of bamboo made the perfect calligraphy brush. The ink was my ire.

Flash Friday

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Questions
November 17, 2011, 5:08 PM
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All week, the judge visited the contestants with questions. But when they answered, the marbles in their mouths took hold. It was too easy to spout the inanity of constant thanks and appreciation. Mr. Montoya looked for a flash of intelligence, betrayed by a word out of place. For he had no doubt these women were intelligent, though they chose the easiest of words during interviews.

They strutted through the hotel lobby in high heels, aware of watching eyes. Mrs. Montoya rode up in the elevator with three of the long legged beauties. Looking at their feet, she realized she would never wear those heels. Though her center of gravity was much lower, she’d look like a house on stilts, sway like a fallen leaf. Little could be gained by asking the polite question “Where are you from?”—that she knew from reading the sash each one wore. Instead she asked, “Are you enjoying your visit?”

The contestants nodded, flashed teeth, and told her how beautiful her city was, how friendly the people were, how interesting the history; they described her home with the same words used for Athens, Taiwan, New York. Her question appeared too easy. Like her husband, she didn’t know them well enough to trip them into betraying imagination.

At the end of the competition, Mr. Montoya took his wife in his arms. Her insecurity beached itself on his shoulder. They moved together to the beats of salsa.

Click to read more...Inspiration Mondays...too easy...



Places
November 16, 2011, 5:37 PM
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“What the funk is she doing?”

“Red, back in place.”

The tiny girl in the big red cape called over her shoulder, “I’ve got to get something.”

“I think we should fire her.”

His associate shrugged.

“The money we’d save….the time…”

“How?”

They heard her yell from off set, “Where’s my bag. Who took my bag? I want my mouthwash.”

The director used the mike. “Places.”

Instead, the hooded girl walked up to his chair. “I have to show you something.” She took his hand.

“Open.”

The mechanical jaws opened at her insistence.

“Are you sure they should be that color?”

“What are you going on about?”

“Yellow. They are yellow. Tartar.”

“Don’t start that crying.”

“Go on. I dare you. Put your head in there.”

The director turned to his assistant, “Find the mouthwash.”


(I’m still pleading NaNo for the liberty I took with the prompt.)

100 Words for Grown Ups

The prompt this week is: …are you sure it should be that colour….Click to read entries.



Footsteps
November 11, 2011, 4:52 PM
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Jay began her hike. The terrain was rough, littered with refuse. Too patient to complain, she slogged through the heat, one foot in front of another. The soles of her feet itched as if she walked through battery acid, a possibility.

She held a stick. Down it went to the ground, a percussive strike before her light footfalls disturbed the silence. The long hike took aeons. On her trail, tiny parasites poked out of small holes in the ground: fragile, greedy life.

Jay paused her hike, slept while the small plants consumed. She woke, slightly refreshed, to grab her stick.

Flash Friday

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