RSS

Author Archives: mcwhittle

About mcwhittle

Perseverance..always

Endings

Louisianachurch10
It had taken many years for her to raise enough courage to come back here. She stood by the grave staring at the church and while she had imaged these moments, playing them in her mind like an old black and white movie, the flood of emotions she had expected were not forthcoming. She was cold both outside and in, and where there should have been relief for the forthcoming closure of this part of her life, there was only emptiness.

She remembered this place as a conundrum, a multifaceted hub of her younger days, with many aspects carving out parts of her soul and discarding them with no remorse. Love and hatred, happiness and fear, clearness and confusion; all had been foisted on her at some point in her youth here. Here in this now damnable place, which had been such a formable part of her life.

She thought of him now, allowing herself a full moment to bring it all back to life for her. How she loved him. How he was like a god to her. How she thought he could do no wrong. All those things that a child depends upon in a father, they were all wrapped up in a neat package within him and that gift was only for her. That was the fairy tale that she lived for and with her vivid imagination she could feel the hugs, hear the laughter and bask in the love. Unfortunately, as fairy tales more often than not tell, well they don’t pan out as expected; often coming to horrid endings. That had been the case for her.

The fire and brimstone that he preached each week left him filled with power rather than love. The anger that he spewed towards the congregation, scolding them for their sins, he never learned to leave it within the sermons. The disgust he projected in order to bring them to their knees knew no boundaries and as the congregation would hang their heads in shame, the evil would fill his heart and it would travel with him till an opportunity arose to release the darkness.

In a warped perception of her world, the church before her, that should have been her respite, was instead the cause of all of her pain. The abuse she suffered at his hands, she could not blame on him so she blamed it on God. She felt forsaken and left to fend for herself; there was no one to save her, no one who cared.

When he had died the love/ hatred she had amassed had been buried in the ground with him, and she was left an empty shell, unable to function without the anger to fuel her. Gathering the strength to come here had taken all her resources. It was finally time to finish it all and to get beyond, one must destroy the previous.

The wood of the old church was brittle and dry and the brush and grasses that surrounded it would only add fire to the flame. One final act, one final match, let the fire burn away all the memories, let the ash fill the emptiness in her soul. It was time for her living to begin.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on April 2, 2014 in Fictional thoughts, Flash Fiction

 

A Letter to Myself or Reincarnation is da bomb.

Image

 Dear Me,

Having recently crossed over and upon my arrival at the depot heading to…wait, I can’t tell you where you will end up, but that is not the purpose of this letter anyway, so let me regroup.

Dear You (and me, that makes it us, right, I’m so confused?)

I have just discovered that we get a second chance to do it right. Well that is not actually true. It seems as if we get pretty close to infinity to improve ourselves, so I just wanted to take the time to say, “don’t give up and hang in there”.

While sitting in the debriefing room, waiting on the speaker/curator to come in, we (you and me) were watching a slide show of where we had been, what we had done, what we had accomplished and I discovered that we have been around a very long time.

Our first forage into our life looked daunting from this side, lots of dinosaurs, who seemed to be always hungry. The clothing was minimal and the cave was a tad cold and drafty, but food was plentiful and other than the fact that fire had not been discovered, I got used to raw meat pretty quickly. Guess that was the beginning of our affinity for oysters on the half shell and steak tartare.

Our lives then started flashing before me pretty quickly as somebody hit the accelerator button on the projector so the next millennium or so flashed before my eyes in a muddle, so can’t really give you much insight till about, I reckon the 1800s. We were somewhere in the West and there were buffalo everywhere. I mean one really had to watch where one was walking. Patties all over the place if you get my drift…and the smell…gosh… I think that was what put us into searching for an alternative food source and could be the reason for the raw vegetable and fruit diet that we went on thru in the 60’s. but I digress, ( or progress, kinda hard to tell direction from where are at the moment.)

The projector pretty much slowed down permanently then and brought me up to date to where I (we) am today, which is well, not really sure exactly, but I do hear music and the temperature is comfortable (not too hot if you get my drift). This leads me to believe that what I ( we ) think to be MAJOR blunders in our lifetimes, aren’t going to totally damn us on down the line ( no matter WHAT the nuns say). Well, there are some BIG TICKET items, murder etc, but we never went down those roads anyway, so nothing to fear.

Anyway, You (us) are just starting out and you have a pretty long ride ahead of you. So I just have a few pointers for you.

1. Dress in layers, one never knows where one will end up. ( Exmple, the ICE AGE was the pits as was the life in swamp near the tar pits.) Who knows if the global warming thing is really for real, so be prepared, just in cast.

2. Blood is thicker than water. While your siblings may pick on you when you are young, birth order does get reversed from lifetime to lifetime, so revenge can be yours. Just remember, it works both ways, and what goes round can come round and bite you in the butt.

3. Try some of those “other roads”. You will know the ones I mean when you get to them. They will be the ones that you anguish about, “should I , shouldn’t I”. In all your lifetimes you have never been a wuss, so don’t let us don’t let us down now. Take the chances, go for the golden rings, follow your heart and allow your soul to soar. If you take a wrong step, remember, second chances do happen.

4. Most important keep your humor about you. Lives are tough, lots of roller-coaster moments and the only thing that will help you keep your sanity will be the ability to laugh in the face of things when they go wrong. (I would tell you to laugh in the face of death, but it seems we did that several times already to some pretty rough conclusions, so just bear that in mind)

 

Well the speaker has arrived and is handing out assignments shortly. Hope you get this letter before you are too far into your “way of living you lifetime”. Have fun and we will see us soon enough I’m sure.

Regards,

Me ( You)

 

 

Tags:

just go

 

Image

Away we go..last minute rush..do you have, did you remember, did it get packed, where is my phone, are the cats out, where are the keys…..the click of a door locking…in the car..out the drive..on the road..off to fly the friendly skies…

Three story parking…finding a space, writing down the location, the slam of the trunk, the gathering of belongings, the clatter of spinner wheels over the concrete, the whoosh of the electronic doors…in the coolness..Finally.

Dig out the I.D…hand over the proof of who we are..or who we want to be? Weigh the bags, praying for lightness….and off again…time to make a friend….blurred lines, bare your feet…raise your hands, show them you are not a terrorist, smile big…finally, put on your damn shoes….

Scurry faster now, towards a gate….there she blows, there she waits…red and silver with wings, ready to take you where you need to be…

Queue up, shuffle like cattle, up goes the bag overhead; find a spot which will be yours at least for the next several hours.. Hard seat, tiny window, elbow to elbow..another new friend.

Settle in, find the head phones, crank up a little Elaine Elias, “Moving Me On”….sit back and take it in…closing eyes….resting up for what will come.

Energized….smiling…..

And it begins…once again.

————–

New places..built up with great expectations…unfortunately, built on quicksand and the image shimmers..it is always a mirage.

Here more than most. Vegas, where dreams are lost on a minute by minute basis. The lights flashing, the bells a clanging, the music, the plastic smiles. Hawkers on every corner.. try this, must see that, what I deal I have for you today. Smoke and mirrors, everywhere, 24/7.

Working early or working late, there are always people sitting at the slots. Usually cigarette in hand with smoke you can see but not smell. It is pulled into infinity and the aroma is hidden by vanilla or gardenia or whatever is the scent of the day. Unfortunately the scent stays with you just like the smoke use to do. It lies on your hair and catches a ride on your clothing. Often it is so heavy you can taste it like a like a bad remembrance of a long ago meal. Even days after being home, the luggage finally was assigned a spot in the garage instead of the closet…must give everything time to air out and return to normal.

Too much, all the time. A city that is not getting over itself anytime soon. A playground for many with some swearing never to return..but they probably do. The lure can be irrestable to those just going to try it out once. So they said, so they promised, so they swore. All for naught.

————-

Next stop the Big Apple…to define it as overwhelming is understating. Large and larger…far as one can see, even on a cloudy day. Different lights and the bells are replaced with the honking of horns. Is everyone always that upset and in a hurry or do they just like to create more chaos in a narrow street, single-car wide with three jockeying for positions?   As much as I am happy that I am not having to drive in this city, the cab rides can be just as undaunting. Once inside the vehicles, the drivers are polite, though as a close friend shared, he often noticed hearing what could pass for suicide bomber music playing softly in the background. Inside you are under their protection and every effort seems to be made to get you where you want to go as rapidly as possible, even if one says ” no big hurry”…well evidently there is some sort of hurry somewhere. Every effort is also made to explain to other drivers that are in the way, that they should not be there…in the way that is…and this is done in a Morse code only known to cab drivers and generally are either long stand-on honks of the horn or if multiple cars are in the way, a staticatto of blasts are evidently needed, so that everyone gets their own warning. I am still working on this deciphering of this communication.

……9/11……..

A memorial has been built. Heroes died in a senseless, cowardly act. There was a void in the city that has been filled with the names of those that lost their lives. The darkness of the granite reflects the sadness in the hearts of those left behind and the moving water seems to flow into infinity..an infinity of a better place for those that are gone. Hushed are the tones of those that speak and many a tear has fallen on this hallowed ground to be sure. It is true today as it was the day of… we will never forget.

…….

where to next?  Stay tuned..

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

A Sudden Departure

Image

The door slammed with a resounding thud.  She was determined that her sudden departure would not go unnoticed by all being left behind.  “I’m gone for good”, she wailed, although the last word was cut off by the noise of the door, so all those remaining folks just heard “I’m gone for…” leaving some thinking she was quite possibly heading to the store. So much for theatrics.

Bryan, her husband of many years, was propped on the couch, in his usual position, slouched back, with a beer in one hand and a bowl of popcorn between his legs.  His first thought when she came storming thru the den was, “I hope she is headed out to pick up some  nacho chips and more beer”.  He hardly even noticed the rolling suitcase that clattered  behind her over the tile floor.  Of course Bryan, hardly noticed much of anything anymore, which was part of the whole problem.

The twins were in their bedroom, lounging in the bean bag chairs,  headphones on, pretty much oblivious to anything outside their narcissistic world.  They barely glanced up as she breezed by, thankful that she hadn’t stopped to yell at them to pick up their nasty clothes, strewn all over the floor or to start their homework, even though it was 8:30 pm and bedtime was 9.  Geez, she was such a MOM…which in their minds should equate to personal slave that should do EVERYTHING for them.  This too had added to the implosion in her head.

The dog had shredded the evening paper all over the kitchen floor and the cat,  passing by, had determined that the paper piles were an extension of his litter box and had promptly proceeded to squat in the middle pile.  He  then sauntered away a short distance, took a break, stretched out and was licking his behind, not noticing the sopping smelling mess he had created nor the flurry of activity as his sole food provider left the premises.   Just more ice on the tip of the berg?

The baby awoke screaming with the slamming door but between the blaring TV and the headphones went pretty much unnoticed, until the scent of his loaded diaper wafted down the hallway into the open bedrooms, with the piquant aroma finally layering like California smog  in the den.  “Honey, I think the baby needs changing”, yelled Bryan from the confines of the blanket he had tossed over his head in an attempt to quell the smell; he quickly forgetting that “Elvis had left the building” so to speak.  Whining screeches emitted from the bedroom as well…”MOMMMM…. it stinks in here, Do something”.  All pleas were to no avail as they were falling on ears gone out the door.

She had made it to the car, tossed her bag in the trunk and was sitting there fiddling with the GPS.  The problem she had was not knowing where in the hell she wanted to go.  She knew the answer fell somewhere between, hop a plane to Bali,  the hotel two miles down the road or as a more realistic outcome, to her own bed with a good book and a glass of wine.   Some peace and quiet was all she wanted, with a little appreciation tossed in from time to time.  She really didn’t think it was much to ask, then she remember those of whom she was asking.  Impossible..never happen, pipe dreaming.

The tears began to fall, slow but steady. Most times things bend. They sway back and forth with hardly a notation, then again, when you least expect it,  they will bow to the wind , breaking with a snap. They swirl up and away as the turbulence pushes them down the road, out of control but not really caring.

As she finally came to the realization that this really wasn’t a snap decision or a sudden departure, but one that had been a long time coming; she turned the key, pulled out the drive and she was gone.

Thinking Ten Thursday: a sudden departure

 
1 Comment

Posted by on September 26, 2013 in Fictional thoughts, Flash Fiction, Southern Humor

 

Tags:

All Tied Up.

Image

” Mom, Mom”?   “You can do it Baby.  Mommy’s busy.”  “But Mahmmmmm” came the whinny voice that always made her roll her eyes.

He sat on the stool with a look of exasperation that only a four year old can have.  The morning had started off well enough, pants on, zipped and buttoned, CHECK..Shirt on with the stickie in the back, CHECK…socks, sorta matching, CHECK…and he had actually found and put on his tennis shoes before she had to send him back to his room to hunt them down..BIG CHECK…

Now came the moment of truth…would he attempt to tie them himself like he had been shown umpteen times or would he continue to sit there with that “look” on his face, chubby arms crossed, jitterbug legs dancing in the wind and laces dangling, taunting.. like snakes in the grass.

She deliberately kept her back to him with one eye on the clock and the other spying on his reflection reversed on the window pane over her sink.  She knew if she turned to look at him she would break out laughing since she knew that any minute now his lower lip would  to protrude as he went thru that cross over between acting like a baby to getting angry at her. His mood would cause him  to either  huff down from the stool or (and what she was hoping against hope for)  he would attempt to tie the damn laces himself..just to show HER.

Four year-olds could be so very unpredictable, which made that age all the more enjoyable, or at least she thought from time to time.  She continued to slowly wash the dishes, placing each one on the rack to dry and hummed along with the radio which made him realize that she was not going to respond any further to his requests for assistance.

Slowly he bent a knee and brought a white tipped shoe up, crossing his little leg.  She could hear him start to say the poem they had practiced so very many times….it was softly uttered as if he didn’t want her to hear…”Build a Tepee, come inside..Close it tight so we can hide”.. His little fingers holding tightly to the strings as if he was afraid they would unravel before his eyes….slowly ever slowly…She found herself whispering  along with him now…she was urging him on from across the kitchen…” Over the mountain, around we go..”  By God he almost had it she thought, trying not to show her excitement….” Here’s my arrow and here’s my BOW.”  and it was done.

He sat there for a minute staring at his shoe.  She couldn’t tell if he was in shock and disbelief that he had done it or if he was trying to figure out what he should do next.  He looked up at her back and opened his mouth as if to speak then shook his head as if deciding that the timing wasn’t quite right.  She on the other hand had a flash of realization as she watched him start the process all over again on the other shoe…today was a character building moment for her little man..today he grew up just a tad and as today he made a big grown-up decision not to leave things undone.

Thinking Ten: Plot Thickens ( Thursday) Something left undone

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 7, 2013 in Flash Fiction, Southern Humor

 

Tags: ,

End of Day

ImageShe stood there staring at the busted jar and much to her surprise felt tears begin to run down her cheeks.  Flecks of mustard sparkling with flecks of glass dotted her feet making her glad she had worn those flannel PJ bottoms after all.  “Well this really sucks”, she thought then caught herself wondering if she was commenting on her klutziness or her impromptu crying jag.

She seemed frozen to the spot, too upset to move even though the cold breeze of the fridge was starting to bring chill bumps to her arms.  Holding a sad looking week old hot dog (Dinner?)  in one hand, she brought the other up to wipe the falling tears and the running snot simultaneously making a mess of her once perfect makeup.  Not that she cared about that or much of anything at this time of the night.

Toby, her cat, upon hearing  the  opening of the refrigerator and shortly thereafter the crash of the container, instinctively sensing a potential for treats, had wandered in and was dying to weave between her legs. Fortunately the strong acrid smell of the mustard, now spreading nicely into an off-colored golden pond on the tile floor, was keeping him at bay.

She glanced at him between the tears and the hiccups brought on by her crying, and waggled the floppy dog at  him in an effort to shoo him away from the mess. The tantalizing aroma of old meat only continued to hold his stare as well as his unflinching front row seat to this stage play unfurling before his eyes.  There was food here and he wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

She gave up on the shooing and scat catting and tossed the dog (so much for dinner)  across the room to at least get him out of harms way.  He sauntered after it in proper cat fashion leaving her frozen in place, afraid to move out in her bare feet thus risking adding blood to the mustardy mess underneath her.

Knowing there was  no one to come to her aid she slowly stepped out of the PJs, allowing them to gently float to the floor covering what she hoped would be most of the larger shards of glass.   Step by backward step she eased from the scene of the crime and came to light on the kitchen stool.  The tears and the hiccups finally abated and fatigue settled over her like a blanket.  Too late to scrounge for anything else to eat, too lazy to clean up the mess and too tired to even think about what set off her emotional roller coaster, she put her head down on the counter top and closed her eyes.  Midnight was almost here , Wednesday was almost over and she was just too tired for more words.

Thinking 10:Words Wednesday:  Mustard, Fridge, Crash.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 6, 2013 in Flash Fiction, Southern Humor

 

Tags: ,

Another Tiny Gift

Another gift.  It was not that she didn’t appreciate them.  She knew they came from the heart but enough was enough.  Fine feathers, trinkets like ivory, little parcels of surprise.  They all magically appeared beside her bed almost every morning.  She had to rise carefully, watching where she stepped, as sometimes the gifts would  have fallen  from the nightstand where they had been lovingly placed.  Delicate things would smush easily under foot, oh, how she knew that well.

He would sit in the corner chair and watch  her rise with a look of anticipation  on his face.  He always waited patiently  for her to acknowledge the gift that he had brought in the night.  His love was infinite as she had captured his heart from the moment that he had laid eyes on her.  She was his and he was hers and the gifts only stood as a reminder of that committment.

 She could hear his soft hum from the corner of the room and she knew by the sound that indeed he had delivered another gift.  She delicately eased from the bed carefully placing each toe as to not displace any surprise.  She glanced to the nightstand and gasped in awe at his latest present.   She loved him dearly, but she so deeply wished that he hadn’t gone to so much trouble for her.  He really didn’t need to prove anything,  it seemed a minor character flaw, one of self-doubt,  an almost undeniable need of his to bring her tokens of his love . 

Gathering a tissue, she gently wrapped his latest offering.  Walking to the chair, she gave his head a gentle stroke, then placed the latest treasure in a box to be buried out back with the rest…….but after her first cup of coffee.

 Friday’s Foible

Include reference to a minor character flaw or eccentricity, or just use the word Foible. As always you can make this a Free-for-all Friday as well. 

 — — — —

What can you create in ten minutes?

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 10, 2012 in Flash Fiction, Southern Humor

 

Tags: ,