Weed It Out*

A mound of grey lay in Vee’s lap, growing with each row of the cardigan she ripped out. She would wind the wool with some of the spun llama yarn and design a new jumper – sweater, she corrected herself – for sale in the shop.

The room went dark. Harry stood in the entrance of the refurbished barn that was now headquarters of “Twist of Fate”, their llama farm and wool business. The wool almost disappeared in the fuzzy unfolding morning. Vee liked working without the help of artificial yellow light or the buzz of flickering blue fluorescent bulbs. She liked the neither here, nor there of early morning, the darkness behind her and the full light of day to come. She felt hopeful. Continue reading

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Wash That …Right out of My Hair

Bluesy opened the car door and peered inside, reaching to button my blouse, his cold fingers accidentally touching the already well-chilled skin above my sternum. I could have, indeed should have, batted him away but I was exhausted and just wanted him gone.

He fumbled with a pretty opalescent button as small as a sequin, and as thin, muttering “Lord almighty,” as he attempted to insert it into an equally small opening. The button edge weaseled into a minuscule fissure on the tip of his thumb. I closed my eyes pleased my blouse inflicted the pain I couldn’t. I held the image of it stuck in his thumb, hovering above my chest, blood rising warm from its travels from his heart, releasing a drop on the surface of my skin, where it sat, unable to go further. Maybe survival was possible if I just sat still until he left.

His hair dropped over my forehead and I smelled the factory of his body and his gut-recycled dinner, his mouth a smokestack and me an olfactory mistake. He’d smelled harmless fun – I think it was my shampoo. Herbal Essences would be happy when I wrote and told them I’d used their Passion Flower and Rice Milk product, a welcoming scent boosted by my pulse. The next thing I knew the likes of Bluesy had invited himself over for a steaming cup of tea and a few episodes of Breaking Bad , and before Jesse and Walt had finished cooking their first batch of meth I was flat on my back wondering how many kernels I could count in my popcorn ceiling before he’d leave. I cursed my mucous membranes, my lack of control, Bluesy’s intrusion.

We lasted 28 days. Thank God it wasn’t a leap year.

“It’s minus 30 out there, February, can you give me a lift home?”

Yes, my name is February. My parents thought it a romantic moniker, it being the month of my conception, an ovulatory cycle of snow bound cuddles and cozy fires – but I hated it. It is a bottomless well of cold, a dory adrift in the North Atlantic without an oar or a rudder or a bailing bucket. Here I was, February in February, like a frozen daiquiri on an Antarctic cruise, half dressed in my car trying to get rid of Bluesy.

He finished the job. I sniffed, sucked in the snot that drained from my nose and caught a whiff of Tide Clean.

“God, I love February,” he said as he kissed me goodbye.

I examined his work. He’d married the button to the wrong hole and my blouse was askew but it was over. Bluesy was gone, my heart buttoned up, safe for another year. No doubt he’d be back again to continue his work. On my way home, I stopped by WalMart to pick up some new shampoo and went with “Colour Me Happy”.

 

 

 

The Dog Shakes

Nearly three years ago I wrote a flash fiction story about a dog with “issues” and sent it around to a few journals. It was rejected many times. Then in June this year I attended a small press trade show in an Ottawa community centre and found Common Deer Press.  Their submission guidelines for the Short Tail section of their website said this,

We tend to prefer work that might be literary if it weren’t so genre….

and I thought “Hmm. Maybe Nelson would like to live here.”

Without further ado, here it is – The Dog Shakes

edited by Emily Stewart. Thank you, Common Deer Press for giving Nelson a home.

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Cheers!

 

 

Crow cloud talk talk talks

Crazy black car coming fast. Coming fast. Coming fast. Could crash. Crash. Crash. Crazy car lady follows. Follows. Car follows. Why follow why follow why follow. Make car go. Far. Go far away. Go far away. We’re going to dark. Dark. Dark. Can’t come. Can’t come. Quick. Cover in clouds. Cover. Cover. She quarreled. Crazy quarrel. Can’t control. Can’t. Go back. Go back. Crazy car go back. Can’t stop running. Can’t stop. Crows can’t help. Can’t help. Bad luck. Bad. Luck. Luck. Luck. Keep moving. Keep ahead. Chase chase chase car. Human curse. Humans curse crows. Crows know. Humans can’t. Can’t know. Can’t know. Dark dark dark. Hide. Call crazy car, tell go. Tell. Who do. Who do. Who can crash who can crash skull go inside talk talk talk human. Cluck tongue cluck human tongue. Clash. Certain clash. Crave she craves. Craves us. Call her. Call call call. Crack her head cage. Crawl inside. Crawl crawl crawl. Find why. Crazy car. Keeps coming. Fast. Fast. Fast. Keep coming. Car crash. Car crash. No tricks no tricks. Calm. Clear. Quick. Help her.

SoC Saturday & Just Jot it January

Fun discovery today: In preparing to write today’s post, I looked up crow symbolism and in particular what the meaning of a particular number of crows means so I Googled “counting crows” and up came this fabulous band called Counting Crows. Those of you who already know them can laugh at me but I feel I’ve made a most marvelous discovery. Here’s a song I like. 

Advent pot

She stuffed Hershey’s Kisses into the numbered pockets of the soft, felt advent calendar. The kiss tradition began back when Hershey had a factory in a nearby town called Smiths Falls. She felt virtuous supporting a local business and keeping its workers employed by sweetening the December mornings of their children with a sugar kiss. (Chocolate breath still reminds her of Christmas. ) That small factory closed a few years ago and the death knell rang its last gong. Then an entrepreneur purchased it to grow medical marijuana. Continue reading

She worked outside

She worked outside, which was better than working inside. Inside, clutter tripped her as she walked in the front door, the front hallway paved with mismatched shoes scattered over two mats and a 3 tier shoe rack. A multi-pronged coat rack leaned left, overloaded with jackets, hats, backpacks and purses. It blocked the light from the narrow window the length of the door frame. Continue reading

PTSD in the produce department

Image result for curly parsleyYesterday it happened in the produce section. I was squeezing a cantaloupe thinking “Harry would like this” and as I caressed the thing it occurred to me it felt like my puckered bald scalp. I put the cantaloupe in the grocery basket making a mental note to ask Harry to cut it. Then the curly parsley caught my eye just as the mist sprayer came on like a fire hose. I bolted Continue reading

Harry boobs

Harry made a ferocious Pimm’s Cup cocktail and brewed dandelion wine that served both as Vee’s facial toner and an excellent chilled drink after a long day mucking out the llama and alpaca pens at Twist of Fate. His galenicals were known throughout the Valley for curing everything from athlete’s foot to warts.

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Photo credit: Sue Christie

For weeks Harry had puttered in his shed near the llama enclosure, shutting the door on Vee and her inquiries. He measured, poured, baked, and sampled. Something. Today the odour reminded Vee of ground shrimp shells and rabbit pellets. Continue reading