The Lighthouse

the lighthouse

30 January 2015

Of bedtime, and all times: Five Sentence Fiction

From Lillie McFerrin Writes, comes Five Sentence Fiction: it's about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist.  This week's prompt is 'Bedtime'; here is my response:

Lillie McFerrin Writes

All the times.

Those moments between waking and alarm; treasured like ballet flats that don't pinch - so divine.
The first taste of coffee, a caffeine jolt; tastes of necessity and attitude - it's sublime.
Take a midday pause, look up, draw breath- breathe a sigh.
Bath time and story; plump cheeks, fluffy hair - child of mine.
Feathers and cotton; warmth and comfort - bedtime.

27 January 2015

Five sentence fiction: Abandon

From Lillie McFerrin Writes comes Five Sentence Fiction.

Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist.  This week's prompt is 'abandon'


"...and when the green light goes on, watch for my signal."
Tracey took a deep breath, meeting the eyes of the three others sitting opposite her.  When the green light flashed at them, they nodded bracingly at each other, tugging their shoulder straps as they got into position.
She felt the tap on her shoulder, indicating it was her turn to approach the door.  With eyes closed against fear, she thought of everything she knew, and stepped out of the plane.

23 January 2015

An offering: five sentence fiction

I am, once again, well behind in participating in Five Sentence Fiction (from Lillie McFerrin Writes).
Last week's prompt was Offering.  Here is mine, to you:

This was heartbreak, then. As the moments wore on he could feel all hope of happiness slipping through his fingers.

“But can’t you love me, even a little?” he begged from the very depths of his being.

“Oh, my dear David,” she said, with pity. “I cannot give you what is not mine to give. You see, Robert has my heart.”

20 January 2015

That house where friends live

I walked to the library last night. In the cold. And the dark. Why did I do that? I have no good reason. I had books at home – as well as warmth. And light.

As I approached home, guided by the two lamps at the bottom of the drive, I was drawn to a solitary pool of light far off on the other side of a dark void – the field belonging to that pool of light. The sight of it spilling from the windows such a distance away merely hinted at the shape of a house . It was reminiscent of something seen in the movies. I’m sure that very scene has lent atmosphere to many films.

From that house I often hear the cries of a confused rooster. He tries to wake the neighbourhood at 10 or 11 in the morning. I learned very early on to not rely on him to get me to work on time.
From that house comes the business-like bark of what sounds to be a lab or shepherd – a full-sized, mature dog. He barks to make his opinion known, silent the rest of the time. I picture him at the end of a very long leash, very serious in his job of reprimanding  the raccoons and foxes.

From that house comes the farmer who navigates a tractor up and down the tidy rows of his field. At planting and harvesting I hear the steady purr of that engine far into the early hours of the following day.

In summer I see only hints of that house through trees and over crops. Now, in winter when the trees are naked and the fields lie bare, that house stands unprotected against curious eyes.

That house is situated on a little country lane I never travel. I’ve not gone by to look, peering to catch a glimpse of its inhabitants or see if I’m right about the dog. All I know of them is what I imagine, driven by these long-distance clues of sound.

They are dear to me though, these people of my imaginings. Seeing their home last night, softly glowing in the distance, was like catching sight of a friend.

19 January 2015

The dancing of the leaf

A dried, brown leaf,
crinkled and solitary,
blown into a dance by the wind.

It skitters, jumps,
 twirls, and skids,
over the cold, hard, surface of the snow.

I hear the pattern
like quickly tapping
staccato shoes on a dusty dance hall floor.

I was sitting at my desk by the front window when I observed the little brown leaf twirling in the wind. It was a bitterly cold, grey day, but the leaf looked and sounded so happy. It was a moment of unexpected beauty and joy between seemingly lifeless objects, the leaf, the wind and the snow.

05 January 2015

Flight, unofficially

This is a Five Sentence Fiction prompt from last year. It didn't make the transition from notebook to blog in time to be included that week, so here it is, an unofficial entry.

The prompt word: Flight

She snuggled in nice and close, leaning on his shoulder, pressing as much of herself against him as possible. Was it his imagination or was it suddenly harder to breathe? Her voice... that voice... faded in and out of his awareness, going on about a party they should go to and maybe they could invite his parents over for dinner on Thursday.
Peeling her arms away, he stood abruptly, muttering about having forgot to feed the dog and needing to go home.
"But Robert, you don't have a dog!" she said, bewildered. "Robert? This is your house... Robert?"

04 January 2015

It snows

I have, in life, lived Far East, and Far West (Canada-wise, that is) and Far North (in civilized Ontario, that is). In each of those extremes, winter is an event that lingers long and tramples hard. I have experienced the need to use a window to leave the house. I have seen deep snow in April, lingering hillocks in May, and unexpected flurries in September. I have walked to school through drifts knee deep. I have, like Legolas trod above the field of snow, held up by the skin of ice - only to crash through unexpectedly, losing my boot as I struggled to pull it from the avaricious grasp of the sharp hole. I was drilled to pull the sodden lining from my boots, tipping them upside down over the hot air vent to dry overnight, damp, limp gloves turned inside out, and hats draped over the wash tub to drip into the drain for the next day's fresh abuse. We wore balaclavas, scarves wrapped twice or three times around, doubled our layers of shirts and sweaters, and snowsuits over it all.  Still the fine hairs in our nostrils would freeze together, and yet we played outdoors, speeding down hills on magic carpets, practicing on little plastic skis, building tall snowmen and towering forts, decorating the snow with angels and foot-flowers. Difficult, yes. Inconvenient, yes. But it was expected; it was winter in Canada.

And then it became enough. I flew from Winter to The South, to Sohoe where it is as gentle and mild as is possible to find in this True North Strong and Free country. Spring and Autumn here claim more of the calendar, and Winter is too mellow to possess claws. Snow may visit us, but seldom with great drama, and rarely lingers for long. To be sure, this is still Canada... we are not overrun with Spanish Moss and orange groves. You tender-skinned of the South would think it bitter cold here, while we who live here delight to read the weather reports of our kin in more northerly locales.

Months ago we learned that our Dutch Family would like to visit for Christmas as they wanted to experience a Truly Canadian Christmas. To them that meant cold and snow and hockey. We hoped and prayed to satisfy their expectations, though every forecast and prediction hinted at disappointment. And indeed, the forecasts and predictions were right. There was now and then a snowfall in the weeks leading up to the Great Feast, but nothing lingered. When the Dutch Family arrived the grass was green and the air so warm they could sit wrapped in nothing more seasonal than sweaters on the back patio. So much for tobogganing. So long skating on the neighbourhood rink. Farewell the snowball fight.

Home they went, disappointed. Surely the perception abroad of Canada being a vast land of snow-covered forests and unending tundra was naught but lore, a rumour to lure naïve travelers.

But what do you suppose happened on their return home?


Lead to this:

But which, before long, gave way to once more:


As it happens, the Dutch Family would have had a White Christmas if they had remained at home.
Today again in Sohoe... it snows.

02 January 2015

Of the year that was, and the year that will be.

It's time to take up The Lighthouse again.  The year of Our Lord, two thousand and fourteen slipped by me with seldom a word in print.

Here are my top ten excuses for not writing.  Why ten?  Because most lists come in tens, so let's see if I can find ten very good reasons for not blogging... or ten mediocre excuses.

1. Blogging was so 2013. But Not Blogging is so 2014. Clearly 2015 will be the year for Blogging Again. 2015 will bring you The Lighthouse 2.0.

2. I used up all my words. There were none left. I had to wait for my next allotment. Any day now.

3. The internet stole my brain.  Really. Too much Youtube and too much Netflix. I got lost in the world of binging and didn't climb out of it until late November. It took cancelling my Netflix subscription for me to unplug enough to get my sluggish brain moving again.

4. I wasn't reading. How is that even possible? I don't know, but it happened. I can't remember one book of note or one that left a mark in 2014. Sure, there have been books, some of them even mildly interesting such as the one about mushroom hunters... but nothing I feel compelled to tell you you must read, and do it immediately. How sad! I'm beginning 2015 with one book read already, and poised to revisit my good friend Jane Austen.  This is going to be a good reading year, I can feel it!

5. Football. I know.  I can feel you roll your eyes from here, but football is partly to blame. There was the World Cup which saw Germany win (and play to a 7-1 win over Brazil, which translates to 68-3 in the NFL, or 721-14 in the NBA) Then there is also Manchester United figuring things out Post-Sir-Alex.

6. I lost my mind.  Truly I did.  I'm seeing somebody about it though, so it'll be ok.

7. I was dating someone, and then I wasn't. You wouldn't happen to have Mr. Darcy's number, would you?

8.  I was working, and then I wasn't.

9. Then I needed a personal assistant to make sense of my schedule. Three jobs  at the same time took all the oomph I had.

10. I didn't want to become famous. It's bound to happen eventually... 2014 wasn't the right year for it to happen.

So here we are, in the newborn days of 2015.  It feels a propitious year for creativity and being writerly and exploring new paths and reading great books.  Don't you think so?

I wish you well, I wish you merry, I wish you joy.