Sunday, April 5, 2009

MySixWriMo Day 5


I’m saving today’s allotment of creativity for the writing, so let’s get straight to the prompts.

From Robert Lee Brewer at Poetic Asides:

For today's prompt, I want you to write a poem about a landmark. It can be a famous landmark (like Mount Rushmore or the Sphinx) or a little more subdued (like the town water tower or an interesting sign).

I decided to make Sunday hubby’s choice day. Here’s what my husband picked from The Writer’s Book of Matches (Writer’s Digest Books):

Over the course of one week, a rural woman notices that several items have disappeared from her clothesline.

Write 6 sentences. Share if you want. I’ll post mine in the comments later. Have fun. Be brilliant. Be brief.


Greta said...

Pacing's off. I think it will work better if I break it into shorter sentences. But it's a start. This one's a tribute to Jane :)

Getting Ready

Monday, it had been the flat sheet with the faded yellow cabbage roses, the old one she’d washed until it was flannelly soft.

At first, Ruth thought she’d forgotten to wash it, but then she remembered how it hung up in the wringer, how she’d had to shut off the machine and wiggle it out like a newborn calf. But then on Wednesday when two old bath towels went missing that she knew she’d washed to get ready for Trixie’s puppies …well, she knew something was afoot.

So this morning, she baited the trap, hanging an old tablecloth Virgil had spilled ham gravy on five years ago Easter. She sat behind the sheers overlooking the clothesline, dishes drying in the drainboard, the kitchen spicy with the smell of fresh baked molasses cookies.

She didn’t wait long before the old thief came, her belly swaying, gray hairs grizzling her snout as she tugged the just dry tablecloth gently from the line, getting ready for one last batch of wriggling puppies.

Jane Banning said...

Yay! I love it, Greta. Pacing is not a deal that I can see.
Oh, and I love rural!! And Ruth, of course, my Mom's name...
We're on the same vibe: I wrote mine before looking at the blog. Great minds....

Hard Harvest
By Jane Banning
October: a month of the continual snick and growl of the hay baler off in the southwest twenty, of tired sunsets glazed over with golden cornstalk dust. The household lived on the run, gulping pork sandwiches and coffee. Edith sighed and picked the last of the laundry from the rickety clothesline, Maggie close at her heels. For pete’s sake, where was the fitted sheet? This was the seventh thing to go missing; Edith had searched the house and yard for panties, bras, socks: nowhere. Maggie whined, lonely eyes searching Edith’s and Edith walked, impulsively, with a cold and hungry nose under her hand to the corncrib where Maggie’s sad bed lay, clean but rumpled, her only comfort in an overwhelming October.

JohnOBX said...

Funny the timing of this prompt: I was all day putting together my garden yesterday (thus my absence, sorries), so that's the "rural" feeling connection AND my washing machine's spin cycle went kaput, so I had to break out the drying rack.

Good tales. I didn't see anything wrong with yours, friend Greta, and I quite liked it.

Here's my effort:

Agnes’s drying line was as well ordered as her life: prim rows of sorted clothes, two pins per shirt, one for socks and underwear, a precise gap of two inches between each article. It was why she noticed right away when her things started going missing last Sunday (a red kerchief, followed by a white blouse on Monday and her gardening overalls on Tuesday). Vexed, she summoned the law and was informed that the sheriff had many things to do other than sit on a clothes line stakeout, so after she stamped her feet and fumed a bit she did what any self-respecting country woman would do; she loaded up the shotgun with birdshot and kept watch from a window overlooking her back yard.
The moon provided plenty enough illumination for her to see the diminutive thief at two o’clock the next morning as he slipped across the yard, casting furtive glances over his shoulder, and she unloaded both barrels as soon as she had a clean shot. She raced out to the yard just as the mucky little gnome scampered away holding his posterior and she yelled a very unladylike curse after him.
Thieving buggers; they’d been making clothes disappear from her dryer for years and were the reason she’d gotten rid of the thing and put up a clothes line in the first place!

Greta said...

Good ones, both.

Jane, I like how we were kind of on the same page, but had a slightly different take on it.

John, no apologies necessary. This is for fun, not to make ourselves crazy. Glad to have you and your little gnome back.

Jane Banning said...

Hi John,
Love the holding-posterior-scampering! And the whole thing.

We have 37 degrees; there are no gardening or clothesline gnomes around here. I feel an unladylike curse coming on....

Stephen said...

I finally submitted yesterday's entry, and here is today's:

The Faraway Hill

At the edge of the forest, his arm against the trunk of a weathered tree, a solitary figure looked out across the city to the hill on the other side, its shadows growing long as a curtain of darkness slowly covered the valley. The aroma of surrounding campfires and the patchwork of traveler’s songs ushered back memories of years gone by, times when as a little boy he stood within this same forest and gazed down on the city below. He remembered the stories told by his father and the warmth of his mother who held him fast to her side, her gentle hand brushing through his hair. Those nights had been filled with magic. But now, many moons and celebrations later, the magic of those early years had given away to the sounds of marching soldiers, their golden standards raised high, and images of accused men—their bellies bloated, their bodies torn, their bloodstained arms stretched out—who hung as reminders of what happens to insurrectionist, murderers and thieves. He turned his back against that far hill, thinking how sad it was the same men and women who this morning praised his arrival and would only a week from now cry out for his blood.

Greta said...

I love this, Stephen. You executed the shift beautifully. Is this inspired by your recent trip?

Jane Banning said...

Evocative, Stephen. I'd love to hear about the trip.

mike. said...

Hi Greta:
Jane directed me to your site and I love the prompts. This particular prompt had me thinking and writing this in my head for a couple of days. Now it's finally on electronic paper. Hope you enjoy it. mike.

Not a Sliver of Truth
Michael J. Killips

Dale watched from the upstairs bathroom window as Miriam stood in the back yard with hands on hips, looking at the empty spot on the clothesline where she had hung Dale’s grey flannel shirt. Dale went to the medicine cabinet and rooted around until he found a safety pin and proceeded to prick his finger and squeeze out a few drops of blood into the sink. He then took off the grey flannel shirt, put on the shirt he wore that morning and waited until he heard Miriam come up the stairs.
Just as Miriam worked her way to the top step, Dale tossed the flannel shirt down the laundry shoot, covered his bleeding finger with a tissue and waited until she was about to enter the bathroom before starting to clean the sink
Miriam was a little out of breath but started in at Dale, “I think I’m about to lose my mind ‘cause every time I wash your flannel shirt something happens to . . . oh dear, what happened to you?”
“Got a sliver,” Dale said flatly and left to go back out to the barn.

Greta said...

Hey Mike!

Thanks for joining us. I remember well that fantastic piece of yours about the pancakes in the smoky kitchen.

This one's intriguing. I'd love to know what Dale is up to. Poor Miriam! Speaking of, I love the character names you chose.

Please, look around and see if any of the other prompts speak to you. Glad to have your company.


Jane Banning said...

Hey Mike! Woo hoo!
That dastardly Dale.