Piscēs I

Part One

It was time.  Noah had begged and pleaded for a dog.  I knew he wasn’t old enough to take care of one.  And I just wasn’t up to the task.  Trying to work, go to college in the evening and taking care of a 5 year old on my own was enough.  Mama’s plate was completely full.

So I compromised.  We were in the pet shop and I was thinking I could get him a lizard, or a gecko or something easy.  And quiet.

We had to struggle through the, “But mama, there are kitties.” and take a left after, “Maaaaaama look, that rat is really cute though and he looks lonely.” Those big brown sad eyes looking up to me begging for me to understand how deep his affection was for every living creature. I sped the walk up to the lizard area. Repeating more times than I would like, “I know baby.  I do, but let’s start small. Even small guys need love too!”

Then he saw them.

The guppies.  There were what seemed like thousands of guppies in 5 aquariums. It was insane to see so many fish in one container. And I couldn’t figure out the reason they were all swimming about so frantically. Quick zig here, another zag there, then back super quickly.  As if every one was in a hurry, but they had no idea what for.  Maybe it was the way the light hit their tails and they sparkled, I don’t know but he stopped dead in his tracks.

“Mama.”

“Yes, sweetheart?”

“What are those?”

To be honest I couldn’t have told you what they were until I read the label and the very forgiving price tag that was written underneath.

“They are Guppies!”  I emphasized the GUP-PIES!!!! because it sounded like puppies.  I’m not proud.

We already had a 10 gallon tank that Eric said he was going to try and start a real salt water aquarium one day. Well, we’ve been divorced 3 years and it is still in my garage, so Score!

I asked an employee to come tell me a bit about the guppies.  Let me know if they were easy to care for. She proceeded to give me the run down. They were essentially beginner fish.  We were beginner pet owners and this sounded right up our alley.  We purchased 8 guppies and an array of aquarium accouterments. In total, we walked out having spent less than $75.00.  It was over my budget but watching my Noah Bug pick out each fish exclaiming, “That one, ooooh no wait, that one. No, he moved.  The Silver one.  That one!”  His finger darting trying to track the exact fish he wanted.  The glee he was exhibiting was worth doubling my pet budget.

We arrived at home thirty minutes after we left the pet store.  I attempted to run into the grocery store to grab bread but my child screamed, “If we leave them in the car they will DIE!!!!!!!” Ok buddy.  But it’s canned soup for dinner, no grilled cheese. He didn’t even seem to hear me.  Once inside I rushed to finish cleaning out the aquarium for a second time, I had already thoroughly cleaned it a week ago, but a quick check for dust, etc wouldn’t take long.  And the water needed to be the right temperature so I got to work immediately.  And also at the urging of one very excited little boy.  “Maaaaaaaam they’re going to die if they stay in these bags. Hurrrry.”

After one solid hour and testing the water twice, we introduced each one in.  One at a time giving them a moment, making sure they were ok with the water temperature. And then it began.

He sat in front of that tank for 3 hours.  I fed him his chicken and stars as he sat crossed legged in front of the glass amazed and still throwing out names for each one. Chuck! That one is Buzz! That red one is Bolt!  The pink one is Dora!  I did notice he traced his finger lightly across the glass, maybe seeing if they would follow.  I know he wanted a dog, but I would hate to have to tell him that fish don’t, “come” when called. Then he used what sliver of a fingernail he had and tapped on the glass in frustration when they weren’t paying attention

Tap, BANG, Tap, BANG, Tap, Tap

“Noah, stop that immediately!” I raised my voice and approached him.  I asked him, why would you do that to your fish?” We were warned by the person at the pet shop never to tap the glass.  She said they have to say it every time.  Beginner fish advice 101 especially for the little ones.  He said, They weren’t watching me so I tapped so they could see me.  I sighed.  I got down to his level.  I told him, “I understand what you mean.  But, remember when we went to the July 4th parade last year and the fire engines went off right by you and you covered your ears? You were very upset by the loud noise and wanted to go home.”

He said, “But that is different, it was just a tap. I explained it was just as loud for the fish with his tap as it was the fire engine was for him. He looked remorseful that he had done it and I reassured him that it was ok.  They are fine.  Just don’t do that to them again.

After that it was finally time for Noah to head to bed.  It had been a long day and I still had two papers due by Sunday night.

I could see he was on his stool brushing his teeth like a big boy as I approached the bathroom from the hall.  Half way down the hall it happened.

It started as a rumble as if a train was going by somewhere in the distance.  Then it picked up forcefulness. It was an earthquake. I ran as fast as I could to Noah, snatched him up like a football covering his head and headed into my closet.

Part II will come within a week or so.
If you are wondering why the hell I’m waxing poetic about guppies this is just the first part to a short story I am writing.  It is a science fiction type piece.  Don’t let the beginning fool you.

Thanks for reading.       🙂

As Always,

Woman on Pause

© 2018 Woman on Pause All Rights Reserved

Incognito – Mondays Finish the Story

Monday 07.27.15

Incognito

He thought he found the perfect hiding spot. He was camouflaged and watching. That was exactly where he needed to be. He couldn’t believe that he was witness to his wife cheating on him. In front of everyone. How could she? They had been together two years now.

And this guy. Oh, THIS guy… He was nothing like Eddie. This guy was suave. He actually sauntered. That was how he stole his purrfect Missy. By ambling around as if he were the only male here.

Well not today my friend. Today he was going to stay incognito until she realiz–

Dinner Time!! Come on Missy… Eddie… and you too Mittens. Come on and eat your dinner sweet baby kitties!!!”

Eddie stood up, straightened and began to walk towards his bowl.  All the while smirking, “Mittens, huh.” 

Word Count 129

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Thank you for stopping by and reading my submission for Mondays Finish the Story.  The idea is to write a short fiction story based off of the photo prompt and the first line is already written.

I appreciate any constructive criticism.  And thank you for stopping by!!

You can always add your submission or read others just click the link below.

As Always,

Woman on Pause

Tardy – Friday Fictioneers

Good day everyone!  This is my submission for this week’s Friday Fictioneers.  Brought to you by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  The idea is to write a 100 word flash fiction post on the picture of the week.  Below is mine, I hope everyone enjoys!

 

Fork

Tardy

Phillip arrived at the restaurant thirty minutes early. He had already broken a stress sweat wondering if there would be parking. Predicting that traffic would hold him up and he would leave her waiting at the table.  He hated feeling like he was going to be stood up and didn’t want her to feel that way either.

Mind numbing forethought had now dwindled down to a swirl of a few thoughts. That maybe this time he would be the one left waiting alone. He looked up and there she was.

The small worries lifting as he saw she brought the divorce papers after all.

104 Words

 

As Always,

Woman on Pause

 

InLinkz Link – View this and other stories for this weeks submission!

Photo Credit:
http://mariegailstratford.wordpress.com/

 

Query – Friday Fictioneers

Hello Everyone!  I have for you my submission for Friday Fictioneers.  It seems that Rochelle Wisoff-Fields has taken some time off and is returning to old prompts.  Lucky for me, I am still new and can submit a fresh one.

The goal is to write 100 word flash fiction based off of this photo:

Image
Photo Prompt – Copyright Madison Woods

 

Query

“What’s in a tree?” he asked.
”Is this like the question, what’s in a name?” she replied.

“No. What’s in a tree?”
It was getting harder to hide her frustration. These riddles and games were cute at first, but ten years in, she had grown weary.

“Well, let’s see. Bark, leaves, they produce carbon dioxide or something. They give life. That’s what’s in a tree.” She felt satisfied navigating his silly riddle.

He grinned, “No. It’s your underwear.” He pointed up to where he had flung her panties the night before.

While his riddles were tiresome, their sex life was not.

 

Word Count 101

 

I hope you guys enjoyed!!  You can find other submissions here. InLinkz

 

As Always,

 

Woman on Pause

Friday Fictioneers – Going Back

Hello everyone!  This is my submission for this week’s Friday Fictioneers.  This exercise is brought to you by Rochelle Wisoff – Fields – Addicted to Purple.  The idea is to write a 100 word flash fiction based on a photo prompt.

The photo prompt for this week is:

wallpaper

Photo Credit: Mary Shipman

 

Going Back

In a good neighborhood gone bad the house remains. White clapboard that was cheerful is now tattered and neglected. It used to smell of honeysuckle and fresh baked biscuits. Now it reeks of poverty and three dollar wine. The once delightful wildflower wallpaper ripped and smudged with grime. This home reminds her equally of pleasure and pain. A childhood ruined in one summer. She lights the match and enjoys the burn. Maybe in the ashes she can find herself. The woman she might have been had she never seen this place or the neighbor who was never her “friend.”

99 words.

 
You can find other Friday Fictioneers here.
InLinkz

 

I hope everyone enjoyed this and all criticism is welcome, but hopefully just the constructive kind.  🙂

 

As Always,

 

Woman on Pause

Friday Fictioneers – University Daze

Hello everyone!  Welcome to my submission for this week’s Friday Fictioneers.  Brought to you by,

Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple

The purpose of this exercise is to write a fiction story 100 words based off of a photo prompt.

Image
Photo Prompt – Copyright –Jennifer Pendergast

InLinkz link HERE

 

University Daze

As she walked the grand courtyard of the University she smiled, imagining days of books and classes. She dreamed of evenings giggling with girlfriends. The ability to study along side the brightest of minds. She could almost feel midnight kisses from beaus left sweetly on her cheek.

She entered the hall and as she picked up her mop the handle brushed her growing belly. She caressed her womb and sweetly whispered, “All can be yours sweet girl.”

 

78 words

I hope everyone enjoyed my submission and kind but helpful criticism is always welcome.

 

As Always,

 

Woman on Pause

 

Friday Fictioneers – Burned Out

My submission to Friday Fictioneers.  Brought to you by this wonderful woman right here.

The picture that prompts this week’s story is below.

Image

And the prompt photo belongs http://erinlearywrites.com/

 

The idea is to write a 100 word flash fiction story based on the photo.

I hope everyone enjoys my submission.  All thoughts about the work are welcome.

Burned Out

The view from the back porch of the rental cabin was exceptional. The steam darted up from his coffee as he took another relaxing sip. As he raised the mug to his mouth he noticed red in the cuticle of his thumb. He clearly missed some blood and now the weekend was ruined. He would have to return to make sure he didn’t leave any thing else behind. He enjoyed one more sip and thought, “This job is going to kill me.”

82 Words

 

As Always,

 

Woman on Pause

 

The link to this and other submissions is here for InLinkz

 

Friday Fictioneers – Therapy

Happy Thursday to all!  This is my submission this week to Friday Fictioneers.  Rochelle has presented the following:

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Photo Credit:  Janet Webb

The purpose of Friday Fictioneers – Write 100 words based on the above photo.

Side Note: Thanks to everyone who commented on my story last week and I look forward to reading everyone’s this week!

Therapy

The painting was judging her.  It was staring and summing her up. The painted face deciding that she had become pathetic at best.  The piece was from one of many trips with her mother to the island.  Trips filled with constant attempts by her mother to set her up with any man who looked like he had a 401K.  She didn’t need a man.  She needed therapy.  After the will was read, she decided tonight her therapy was Sangria. And the only thing her mother bequeathed. Left to her, that God forsaking painting, and the phone number of the “single” lawyer who read the will.

105 Words

As Always,

Woman on Pause

Friday Fiction – Lamp Light

I found Rochelle’s Blog and the concept of Friday Fiction and I just couldn’t  help myself.  Below is my addition.

Image
Photo by:
Dawn Miller

Lamp Light

The belts didn’t match the hats on the mannequins that looked down on her.  She also noticed the jewelry didn’t shine.  Tarnished and chipped the baubles looked cheaper than they were. The rows of discount lamps some with shades, some going naked without them.  The glow from the their bulbs only revealed how bleak this place had become. She turned off each lamp to hide the sadness this place represented to her. As she walked out the only thing she left behind was, “I Quit” written in the dust on the jewelry case.

93 Words

As Always,

Woman on Pause

P.S.   The goal for Friday Fictioneers is to write a complete story with no more than 100 words based off of a photograph.  And it was HARD, but a lot of fun.

Black and White

I used to dream in black and white.

Image

I read that this is normal.

All of my dreams, at least the one’s I recall, are all dark and frankly scary.  I have been woken up from bad dreams my entire life.

I rarely dream about my children, and when I do they are lost, and I am desperate to find them.

I never dream of my husband, not in person.  I know he exists, but I never see him.

Last night I fell asleep on the couch, I had a sick little one and wanted to hear if there was any distress in the night.

I couldn’t sleep.  Pain from my hip had me flipping channels until I just couldn’t stay awake any longer.

I woke and looked to my left to see a woman on the end of my couch with her head in her hands.  All I could see was her hair, and that she was curled up in a ball. Rocking ever so slightly back and forth.

head in hands

I looked up at her, and immediately I felt the air change.  It was similar to being close to a lightning bolt, where you can smell the ozone, and the air feels thick.

She whimpered, “My head, it hurts so badly.” And she made fists in her hair.

I told her, “Oh God, I can feel it in the air.”

As soon as the words escaped my mouth, I felt it coming.

It was coming fast.

I didn’t know exactly what it was, but I knew this wasn’t the first time this had happened.  My immediate response wasn’t fear but anger.

This was a 2nd, 3rd, or 8th visit.

I had just forgotten the other one’s until that moment.

When the thick air surrounded me, I grabbed my head and put it in my hands, began to rock slowly.

I slowly mumbled, “Fuck you, Fuck YOU, FUCK YOU,” waiting on it to pass, to leave me. The mumble became a scream, and the fear was debilitating.  But the anger was right at the very end of the fear.

Then I woke up.

In the exact same spot, head in hands.  Where just moments ago in my dream I was being accosted by something or someone.

This dream was in color.

The next morning my son woke up, I took his temperature and he looked at me stone faced and said, “I had the weirdest dream.”  I couldn’t speak.  I didn’t want to know he dreamed what I dreamed.

I was just as scared at that moment as I was when I woke up from that dream.

*This Actually friggin happened 2 nights ago.  Still scares the ever loving SHIT out of me.  Even to think about it.

I knew immediately I had to write about it.  Because being scared and scaring others is what gets my blood pumping.

Taking a new turn,

Woman on Pause

Photo Credits:

http://www.vsaggiomo.com/w/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/tem16.png

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/–gstBVkEr64/TjBwD59VYLI/AAAAAAAAAQk/4ZDAcmeacFM/s400/brunette+crying%252C+head+in+hands_2.jpg