Lessons from the Fox

He was undu-ly-late 

but that didn’t stop him from making his presence known to The Little Prince.

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And in excerpts, the fox said:

I am a fox.

I cannot play with you. I am not tamed.

It is an act too often neglected. It means to establish ties.

To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you, I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world . . .

My life is very monotonous … Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat . . .”

And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.

“What is essential is invisible to the eye,” the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.

photo credit 

via Undulate

Love for the Evil One

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If that clock didn’t tell her the time so accurately, Sofie would have taken a hammer to it long ago. Why else would she have kept it?

But she needed the clock. It gave her the idea.

She pulled Meta’s box out from under the bed and opened the lid and removed the papers as carefully as unwrapping an unsolicited gift given by a macabre client. She placed them on her writing table.

Sofie inhaled the scent of moth balls Meta had placed inside in what seemed like ages ago. Those spherical balls of cedar had kept her bonnets, kerchiefs as well as her revealing words from being eaten and destroyed by those tiny winged creatures, the ones who did not distinguish between good or evil longhand.

Regardless of the pungent smell of cedar, regardless of the desertion she felt, Sofie could still take in the scent of Meta’s lilac-fragranced soap on her young, thin hands, could still imagine Meta’s right hand dipping the pen into the ink in order to recreate the unusual bizarre events of her young life.

Sofie looked down at her hands, still somewhat youthful for being eight years older than Meta and still attractive. But she felt old at almost twenty-eight, old due to the wear and tear of her insides from the constant thrusting and prodding of too many men. At least her so-called clients were transparent. They wanted one thing, a warm twat to comfort themselves, or if they were worried about disease, a warm and wet mouth to surround their growing phallus. Such control she had over that one simple bodypart.

But she was tired of that now. Only if she was in great need of money or a favor, would she sucomb to pleasing one of the hairy oafs. Besides, it was Meta who taught her about love. But it was also Meta who had done those awful things.

Excerpt from The Edges of Two Fields, an unfinished novel.

 

Daily word prompt: Recreate

Photo credit

Still stupid

Now, the Charleston ends. Victor Victrola’s needle ch-ch, ch-ch, ch-ch’s searching for something that’s already been used up. Like my memory at the end of carnival night. And Beauty was wrong. My worries are still here.

Big Chief Tablet glares at me from the kitchen table. I tell it to shut up, that homework can wait till I’m good and ready.

I’m extra careful when I plant the needle on the beginning of a different recording. I turn the crank again. The green and yellow squares of our sitting room rug melt together as I spin, and my braid pings one shoulder then the next like two different suitors asking to be my dance Partner. My skirt puffs up like a wild mushroom and it’s swoosh seems to say, “Everything will be right again, Emma June.”

“How do you know that when I can’t even remember?” I yell. Then I jump up and down trying to stomp out my stupid. It’s still there.

Excerpt from The Moonshine Thicket by C. Dennis-Willingham

 

daily prompt: Partner

Don’t lick your dog

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In the last fourteen hours, I’ve seen more scenery than a turkey vulture. I tell Daddy I can’t wait to go. For the most part, it’s true. I won’t have to think about the vulture’s nest – a tangled up shack were Frank lives.

I put on a nicer dress, the blue one with Sailor pockets, brush through my hair tangles, and think about chopping it off. I stare at the scissors when the familiar voice calls out.

“Emmy! Emmy!”

I twist my hair into a braid.

“She’s in the house, Scoot Bug,” Daddy yells from behind the house.

“Emmy! Emmy!” he yells again.

I find Scooter outside. He’s hugging Choppers and licking his fur.

“Scoot! Your mama doesn’t like for you to lick dogs.”

He gives me a devilish grin and spits mutt hair from his mouth.

If he asks me to whirly-bird, this time I’ll say no. I’ll show him the still-in-the-carton Tinker Toys instead.

“Ba-boom-ba-boom. Ba-boom-ba-boom. A hullabaloo!”

He’s doing it again. His few words tell me he’s been with Frank.
“I thought you couldn’t leave without your parents watching over you.”

“I am watched over.”

“Yeah? Where?”

Scoot points toward his house, but I know his parents can’t stand on their front porch and keep an eye on him a good hundred yards away.

Halfway between Scoot’s house and mine, I see him waving under the clump of live oak trees. My arm’s too heavy to wave back.

Excerpt from The Moonshine Thicket

Sail – Daily word prompt

Contending with Fear

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I sit next to Gladys and, without choice, allow my head to throb. My eyes are filled with invisible grains of sand. My body is limp from exhaustion. Mrs. Roberts must feel the same way, only worse. She also has to contend with two young children and an abusive husband.

And Isaac. He has to contend with the fear for his safety, and the physical proof of racism.

If I didn’t have parents who fought for civil rights, would I be a clueless white girl whose only worry was flirting with the right boy, making descent grades, wondering what fun I would have the next day? Sometimes, I wish it were that easy. But I can’t go back on what I know. I can’t ignore the plight of my new friends, including Olvie.

I see now that she is a lonely woman. She loved a man who died before she had the chance to marry him. It’s made her stiff, like the plaster-molded Gladys and Fritz. There’s more I don’t know about Olvie. What? Who wrote her those letters that Isaac and I haven’t looked at since his scorpion bite?

The door opening startles me, but seeing Isaac, I relax.

“You okay, Chicken Coop?” he says.

I struggle to shrug my shoulders.

He sits next to me and sighs. “Damn, what a fucking day.”

“A fucking day.”

He turns sideways on the couch to look at me. “You really are scared of fires. Thought Olvie just made that shit up.”

“Not this time.” I tell him about the KKK crosses on my front lawn.

“Well, if I had to come here and meet a white girl, I’m glad it’s someone who understands.”

I want to tell him how I value our friendship but I’m so tired, my lips won’t move. I also want to tell him that I don’t understand, not really. My skin’s not dark.

“Willie, Lieutenant Davis, is going to help me.”

Isaac’s words Puncture my veins with new energy. “What? How?”

 

Excerpt from my WIP set in 1963, Working Titles: The Bare Bones of Justice/Plastic Justice

Daily Word prompt: Puncture

Out of his comfort zone (until the movie comes on)

 

“Well, well, well,” says asshole pimply-faced Kent behind the glass window. “Thought you were leaving for the summer.”

How could the tolerant Mr. Pryor hire this racist?

“Two tickets.” I thrust the money in the hole.

“Two? Where’s your friend?”

I don’t want to get Tanner in trouble. I also want to stand my ground. “He’s behind me.”

Kent squints at Tanner. “Now you’re friends with a …” He looks behind him. Mr. Pryor faces toward us. He’s chatting with an older lady with bluish hair. “Friends with a colored? He your boyfriend?”

“Let’s go, Chicken Coop,” Tanner whispers behind me. “Ain’t worth it.”

“My friend and me came to watch a movie. Now, sell us the goddamn tickets, Kent.”

There is that look of anger and there is a look of hatred. Kent’s wearing both. He hands me the ticket.“Next,” he says through clinched teeth.

Tanner finds a place to sit in the back of the theater. I go for popcorn and cokes. When I return, he asks if we can put a couple of seats between us.

From my Work in Progress about a biracial friendship in 1963.

Outlier