Monday, August 31, 2015

return of the flash

Remember Flash Fiction Friday? For quite a while, I was an active member, but the online writing group, whose members posted new works (refreshingly unexpectedly) on Thursdays, faded to black a few years ago. 

Recently I came across some of the pieces of fiction that I wrote in response to the Flash Fiction Friday weekly prompts and, frankly, I am impressed. They are rather good, if I do say so myself. Something about the inclusiveness of the group, the talent and creativity that ran rampant within it, and the quality of the weekly quotes made me bring my best game.

So, I am very pleased to report that Flash Fiction Friday has been resurrected. The prompt for the inaugural week is obsession, a rather fitting prompt to throw at writers, I think, who tend to be a rather obsessive bunch.

Stay tuned to this station for my contribution. And, if you are so inclined, why not consider trying your hand at it as well? I would love your company. 

flashfictionfriday.com

 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Saturday, August 15, 2015

back in the arms of the city

I know the risks here. I know to keep an eye on my purse, to lock ground floor windows at night, to look both ways before crossing the street. I am in my comfort zone.

Out there, at the lake place, I see daily reminders that I am nowhere near the top of the food chain, that there is no buffer zone of humanity to shield me.

The strange scat deposited at the base of the deck one night was likely a calling card from the Fisher that lurks in the riparian zone. Ambush hunters, they list unsuspecting city cats as a favourite treat. 

Woodtick strip searches have become routine. The risk of Lyme disease may be small, but the ick factor is a powerful driver.

Emptying mouse traps in the crawl space and cleaning up the detritus of their late-night parties takes on the urgency of a level 4 biohazard lab. Work gloves and tea towels tied over faces fill in for hazmat suits. I count off the days since exposure and watch for symptoms of Hantavirus. 
 
This is black bear country. Locals talk matter-of-factly about bear encounters. They know what the scat looks like, they instinctively know how to park so that the truck is always between themselves and any black bears who may be feeding on the Saskatoon bushes. To the black bear who sauntered through the yard last year and swam effortlessly across the lake, we are a minor annoyance, nothing but a mosquito buzzing around her living room.

Back home, in bed after another ten hour trek across the prairies, I lie for a few minutes before drifting off, grateful for the faint glow of the street lights, comforted by warm pinpoints of light radiating from windows across my neighbourhood. In the distance, the soft lullaby of traffic lulls me to sleep.


Sunday, August 02, 2015

carry me back

There's something restful and a little old-fashioned about curtains blowing in the breeze. 

I think of farm houses on the prairies, abandoned now to the elements, hollow window frames looking out over overgrown farmyards, while staring blankly inward. 

Where sod-busting women once prided themselves on keeping a home, the foxes and the bats have settled in, disturbed only by the whispers of long-gone ghosts hanging clothes on the line, by phantom echoes of sheets snapping dry in the hot dusty wind.