A selection of short pieces, written in response to a series of writing prompts. Enjoy!
MARCHING ANTS – Liz Ceruti
Walking walking it never stopped, every day it is the same exercise, a repeat of the day before, and the day before that, and the day before that…….
Ever since I could remember, ever since I opened my eyes after popping out of that moist egg, into the dry air, that is all I know. The story of my life, and that of my brothers and sisters. We have all just accepted that this is the lot in our lives.
The Head of our colony of Ants has never had any mercy. There has been no deviation from this pattern …. Up in the morning and off to work we go. We have marched in this line, keeping our heads down, just following the brother in front of me and he in turn following the one in front of him. Here we go again one pad in front of the other, systematically moving forward with no thought other than to reach our destination.
So throughout the days we formed this long line, avoiding any obstacles that were found on the way. These we circumnavigated & continued relentlessly, on our mindless journey. The front ants whoever they are, wherever they are in search of whatever, just keep going until they find their bounty.
We Ants have an incredible sense of smell which serves us very well in our bid to find and store food. In the past we have usually been successful in seeking out a bowl wherein sweet grains of sugar is kept. This is a favourite among the nursery Ants and is always welcomed with great enthusiasm. On reaching our prize we circle and find the familiar path taken by the preceding brothers. We head up the rim over the lip and slide down into the snowy sugar.
We lift a grain, nip it in our mouths turn and then we carry it, once again keeping in an orderly line we march one behind the other on the return trip. We pass alongside our peers that are still on their way to the bowl. We head back to our nest, and it is the same pattern all over again, march, march, march. Once we have reached our familiar camp and deposited our prize, we turn and follow our brothers back to the our supply of sweet grains, and it is once again, march, march, march.
GRANDMOTHER – Joana Ben
Daughter to people I never knew.
Sister to people I never knew.
Wife to a fisherman.
Mother of six.
Grandmother to twelve.
Great grandmother to six or seven before she died.
The mother of my mother.
I didn’t regret her passing.
She favoured one child above the other four.
She favoured his children above the other nine.
She called me the grandchild from hell.
My mother now calls her a saint.
ICE – Daphne Jaaback Ley
“She could sell ice to the Eskimos”
I wonder how my friend would manage with de-icing my fridge-freezer. Perhaps she would sell me a new one!
Over the years I have tried multiple ways of de-icing this vital piece of kitchen equipment…..hot water bottles, hairdryers, even a boiling kettle nearby.
One lesson learned is that whatever the method used, the task is simplified by more frequent de-icing.
My most dramatic occasion, governed by stressful circumstances, occurred a couple of years ago.
My time was taken up with caring for a very sick husband. The frosting in the deep freeze was the last thing on my mind until the available space diminished to almost the size of a small lunch box.
I made alternative arrangements for the contents of the fridge…..all available cooler boxes, even cardboard boxes lined with newspaper. Just before retiring to bed I turned off the switch and left the fridge freezer door open. The floor was lined with trays and old towels.
A crash woke me. My immediate reaction was to check on the wellbeing of my husband. He was okay.
Only then did I remember the fridge freezer. Sneaking into the kitchen, I turned the light on.
Global warming was in evidence. An ice tsunami had occurred.
EVENING – Bob McMahon
My earliest recollections of evenings occurred in the nineteen fifties, when my family and I used to visit Norfolk on the east coast of England, to stay with my Uncle Joe.
We always considered that Uncle Joe lived ‘in the countryside,’ as opposed to ourselves, who were city dwellers. Consequently, the evening skies in Norfolk were much clearer than those seen above an industrial city. But the biggest thrill for me was that Uncle Joe owned a telescope, and he would attempt to educate us about the planets and stars in an unpolluted sky.
He would describe glorious Venus as the ‘goddess of love’ and Mars as the ‘red planet’ but in all honesty it didn’t look red to me! He would enthuse about the ‘bright rings of Saturn’ and my favourite planet Mercury – which he described as ‘the messenger of the Gods.’
When he really got warmed up he would rave about soaring through the universe, flying past Jupiter and Neptune, on and on, up and up.
Looking back, I realise that Uncle Joe put on a show to entertain us kids in those early years after the war, when most families had very little.
He died in nineteen sixty seven, and I still have that telescope.
I miss Uncle Joe.