April 18: Flash Fiction Challenge – Gender

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April 18, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about gender. It can be fixed or fluid. Explore the topic on your own terms and open your mind to possibilities and understanding. Go where the prompt leads!

Two boys were the subjects of a study of masculinity. One played football the other was a ballet dancer. Both were the same age, and both were intent on getting to the top of their fields.

In the end, the ballet dancer showed greater strength and agility, his masculinity showed out when he moved on stage. The football player exhibited masculine traits in mixing with his mates at the pub and physically working hard.

The ballet dancer was intelligent and very insightful; the football player had little understanding of the world around him and was nowhere near as intelligent.

 

Written for: https://carrotranch.com/2019/04/18/april-18-flash-fiction-challenge/

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Reena’s Exploration Challenge #83 – Perspective

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One of the things that makes the world go round is the different perspectives we see to most of life’s topics.

We all come from different contexts where we were brought up by parents who believed they were doing the right thing, giving us perspectives they saw as important to get us through life.

Many of us were brought up in religious households where our parents taught us what their religious leaders taught them was the way to go. For me it was Roman Catholicism, we were taught it was the one true faith and that the priests and those above them were to be believed and obeyed. And so, our perspectives of life and others were shaped by those who believed they had all the answers.

But as we grew and became exposed to other belief systems, our cultural values so often our own perspectives were challenged, and we found ourselves changing.

Not everyone can do that, let go of where they came from and embrace a different philosophy on life or in my case feel I have broadened my spiritual base.

As I’ve aged, I’ve found myself looking deeper into the faith I have, and I have found people who extent my belief systems and challenge me to think more deeply and not accept what I once thought was the only way to view things.

There seems a certain logic in life. For some, it is a simple fact that life is what it is and we have to make the best of what we have been given, and that is a fair way to look at it.

Others see life as more than that, there are opportunities if they come your way to change what you think and do, though realistically not everyone gets those opportunities.

The other day I heard a discussion in which a Franciscan priest suggested that ‘religion was the best place to hide from God.’ My first thought was this man three or more hundred years ago would have been burnt at the stake for heresy. But his logic made sense to me that so many of us get caught up in what someone wrote long ago and adhere blindly to that philosophy.

Our perspectives vary, it would be a dull world if we all held the same views on things. The magic of life is about being open to new perspectives and evaluating whether or not they can sit comfortably with us.

It’s exciting in so many ways to take on the views of others when you know they are new and not as you imagined life to be. You don’t have to accept them, you are free to reject, but occasionally there are issues that sit well with you.

I’m grateful I have been given sufficient intelligence to see beyond a blind adherence to dogma which for the most part is man-made and never the intention of the people/person who originally espoused it.

 

 

Written for: https://reinventionsreena.wordpress.com/2019/04/18/reenas-exploration-challenge-83/

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Thursday photo prompt: Beyond #writephoto – Uncle Fred

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When Uncle Fred went missing, it came as no great surprise. Mum had been saying for years that he was beyond help.

Fred was her younger brother, a single man who spent most of his waking hours in the pub before staggering home using the fences along the street as supports. Though one night he forgot that Mrs Pilly didn’t have a fence but rather an impressive hedge and he fell into it leaving a large hole in it much to Mrs Pilly’s disgust.

But today there was concern that Uncle Fred was missing and there was a fear he had turned the wrong way out of the pub and wandered off into what we called the back of beyond.

This was a forested area, thick with lantana and inhabited by creatures only too happy to bite you and not care if you died, as then you became their dinner.

Search parties were organised, and after several hours hope began to fade as no sign was found of him.

Fred was not a bushman, he was actually a very good slaughterman and worked long hours when he was able to at the meat works corralling the cattle and sheep and efficiently dispatching them to ultimately land on our respective dinner plates.

He was a single man, for the most part, he didn’t do his body any favours, and the joke around town was that when he died his body would be so pickled as to never decompose.

But he was part of our community, and despite his wayward life we were concerned for his safety.

The final search party for the day was heading out when they discovered Fred sitting on his front porch, having an afternoon beer. It turned out Fred had never left his house that day, feeling a little under the weather, which we thought should have been his default health position, he had stayed in bed which was a very unusual thing for him to do. His routine was such that people expected to see him at various times during the day and when they didn’t they raised the alarm.

Mum said Fred was beyond help once again as she rolled her eyes thinking of her brother causing us all so much bother.

 

Written for: https://scvincent.com/2019/04/18/thursday-photo-prompt-beyond-writephoto/

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Tale Weaver – #219 – April 18th – Making Sense of Nonsense – The Woklecockle.

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When the woklecockle first arrived we thought it was the most wonderful thing.

It was there to do for us what we basically didn’t have time to do, or were too lazy to do.

We took full advantage of it and sat back each evening after it had cooked dinner and watched it clean up the kitchen. It moved with such grace that it was literally poetry in motion: that was dad’s evaluation after the first week.

At first, it didn’t have any personality but rather was a machine that could do everything.

I liked the fact that it would prepare meals and make my bed. How good was that I would say to myself? I did try it out one night with my homework, and it did the most marvellous research on the Ancient Greeks I could have wished for. Needless to say, I aced that assignment but when my parents discovered what I had used the woklecockle for they put an end to that insisting I gain an education by my own sweat and tears.

A month after it arrived we began to notice that the woklecockle had changed somewhat in its demeanour. It developed sounds, a sort of woklecockle language that mostly exhibited disapproval of us.

For example, if we inadvertently took our dirty dinner plates to the kitchen, there would be this tsh tsh sound coming from it, and it would stand in the doorway to the kitchen as if to say, back off this is my territory.

A little later we discovered it liked to watch TV and would object to us changing the channel it may have been watching by giving out a growl to demonstrate its displeasure.

The woklecockle being an object we didn’t pay it a lot of attention to but thought it rather quaint that it was evolving sounds, like a baby growing, learning to walk then to speak.

It had arms of a sort, which it could retract into itself when not required, it had small rollers under its grey metallic body, which as time went on became more and more agile.

Then one day when Mum went into the kitchen and announced she was going to make a cake to take into work the next day. The woklecockle took exception to her being there and when Mum attempted to turn the stove on it extended its arm and gave her a nasty shock.

That night she and dad called us together to discuss the woklecockle and find out if we had noticed it was getting far more aggressive than any of us liked.

My sister announced that it came into her room when not invited and tended to lurk outside the bathroom when she used it, which she found unnerving. I had to admit the same, though I often found it when I returned from school playing my X-Box.

Dad decided it was time for it to go. As he said that the lights went out in the house. All we heard was the sound of the woklecockle’s wheels crossing the floor before the lights came back on and projected onto the wall in front of us were the most terrifying words: “Now hear this! I am taking over.”

 

Written for: https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2019/04/18/tale-weaver-219-april-18th-making-sense-of-nonsense-the-woklecockle/

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Story Starter Challenge April 16 – Sitting on the Front Porch

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It was one of those days where the heat finally gave up its assault and allowed us some respite. When that happened, we sat on the front porch and watched the sun setting away into the west while we sipped cool cans of medicinalade.

I made a remark that I thought I was losing some weight.

Lanie looked over at me and asked how I had come to that conclusion.

I said that of late I’d run out of notches on my belt.

“You don’t have any hips,” she said, “you’re carrying all your weight in front of you. It’s a male thing I see plenty of men around town built a bit like you.”

I sat for a while taking in what she had said. Trying to ascertain if what she had said was a compliment or not.

Meanwhile inside I felt a surge of pride knowing I must be losing some weight. I wasn’t sure how that could be the case as I ate well and often.

“You have to do more exercise,” she said, “our bodies thrive on exercise.” I knew she thrived on exercise, as it was up each morning and out pounding the pavement, walking for a good hour before coming back and readying herself for work.

She didn’t carry much weight, and I was envious of her figure and her resilience in maintaining an exercise regime I found difficult to manage.

I went in to get us another cool one and returned to find her looking out over the southern boundary to where the river wound its way through the farms built on the flood plain. The front porch gave us a great view across the farm and as we watched the farmer and his kids were heading across their land to where they had a crop of watermelons growing.

This was to be our entertainment as we watched the harvest begin. There always seemed to be something the farmer complained about, and the kids were not backward in voicing their concerns back at their father. It always amazed me that the harvest time seemed to bring out the worst in all of them.

For several hours they went at it hammer and tongs. Raised voices, expletives firing left and right, and the innocent melons being thrown from one to the other. They filled huge boxes on a trailer they dragged behind their tractor and by the time night had made seeing impossible they had filled the boxes and were off to prepare them for market the next day.

With the entertainment at an end, it was time for us to go in as the mozzies were just getting started and Lanie was particularly attractive to them.

In the kitchen, the slow cooker was finishing off our dinner, and I looked forward to tasting tonight’s fare.

Lanie was a fine cook, she produced great meals, and on clear nights we sat on the front porch, when the mozzies were away, to enjoy our dinner and the view.

 

Written for: https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2019/04/16/story-starter-challenge-april-16/

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Crimson’s Creative Challenge #23 – Crust.

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I woke up to find Crisp, my aged companion, unwell and locked in the toilet. Today was a special day as we were to catch up with her sister, the less aged, Crust.

Crust was on a hiking holiday, and today we were crossing paths, and I suspected Crisp wasn’t all that keen on meeting up with her younger sister.

They’d had a tempestuous relationship from when they were children, and Crisp often remarked in disparaging terms of her sister. Crisp referred to her sister’s loose morals believing her sister saw all males as fair game.

We were to meet at the guesthouse in Polkington-on-Stoat and upon arrival Crust was already onto her third drink, and disappointed Crisp was unable to make the journey.

We lunched together while Crust enlightened me of her travels and I soon came to understand why Crisp found illness favourable to being with her sister.

 

Written for: https://crimsonprose.wordpress.com/2019/04/17/crimsons-creative-challenge-23/

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100 Word Wednesday: Week 117 – Notre Dame

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I was in Paris and standing in front of Notre Dame lining up to go inside and being the starry-eyed tourist I was wasn’t watching where I was stepping and tripped. It was one of those moments where you saw the earth coming at you, and you were powerless to stop it. I hit the ground in a cloud of dust, and serious injury was averted by landing on my new camera. Later I discovered some very impressive bruising on my stomach.

But it didn’t stop me going inside. I left thinking I’d witnessed history and I’m glad I did.

 

Written for: https://bikurgurl.com/2019/04/17/100-word-wednesday-week-117/

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