“Books break the shackles of time ― proof that humans can work magic.” – Carl Sagan
He was sitting on the bench as he did every afternoon in autumn enjoying the sun and the quiet of the park. Today, as it did every Wednesday, the air smelled of freshly cut grass. A flash of bright red caught his eye. A young boy was chasing his ball, his face lit up with a smile. His grandson would be about the boy’s age now. He wondered what he looked like after all this time. The last time he saw him he was still an infant huddled in his mother’s arms as they said their goodbyes at the airport.
The boy ran across her path with the single-mindedness of the very young. She heard someone shout to him to be careful and she smiled faintly. She wondered if she was having a boy. Neither of them had wanted to know the sex of their baby at the last doctor’s appointment saying they wanted it to be a surprise. Telling Jack that she desperately wanted a little girl didn’t seem like the right thing to do. She had never told him about the little girl she had given up for adoption all those years ago and she never intended to.
He tried to catch his breath as he rushed back to work after the surprisingly productive lunch meeting. Thank god they had come around to seeing the situation his way. If not it would have meant another two week delay and thousands of dollars. The sound of childish laughter made him turn his head. A little boy was triumphantly holding a ball above his head, his cheeks flushed red. He made a mental note to call his ex-wife that evening and let her know he’d have to skip this weekend. Birthday or not he had details to finalize before Monday.
She did well most days. She could put the thought out of her mind and go on with her day not giving it a second thought. Other times it would only take a picture posted on Facebook by a distant acquaintance to bring her world crashing down once again. The happy announcement, the congratulations pouring in, the grainy sonogram picture proudly posted. Today it was the sight of a little boy, eagerly sprinting after his ball across the grass. The unfairness of it all surrounded her like a sodden blanket, at times making it hard to even catch her breath.
She cursed under her breath as she waited for Max to show up. He knew she hated waiting and sometimes wondered if he was late on purpose. Neither of them could afford to miss class again. She happened to glance at the little boy playing just meters away and thoughts of Max vanished from her mind. He was the spitting image of her brother minus the black hair. The years since his death had mellowed the pain enough for her to just enjoy the delight with which this other little boy played in the park on a sunny fall day.
(I decided to combine two prompts from Writing 101 for today’s post. Five different vignettes with a common element but keeping each one at 100 words.)
I’m not a writer. I marvel at writing. I am sometimes absolutely astounded when I read something and I think how in the world did that man or that woman sit down at a typewriter, a computer or a pen and an ink well, and seemingly have nothing come between their heart and that pen.
— Kevin Spacey
When I’m not writing I’m doing boring stuff around the house. Clothes don’t launder themselves and dust doesn’t obediently vanish into some other dimension.
When I’m not writing I’m trying to keep on track with my new eat better, move more plan.
When I’m not writing I’m thinking about what I would do if (or indeed when) the zombie apocalypse finally hits. What weapons to procure, where to hole up, do I go it alone or am I more of a group person?
When I’m not writing I’m watching some kind of documentary. I’ve been on a Mafia kick lately as I find that whole world and the players in it fascinating though I hope that doesn’t point to some kind of personality deficiency on my part.
When I’m not writing I’m losing untold hours browsing about on the internet. While I may start off my day searching for the best chocolate cake recipe I somehow end up, hours later, reading up on the mating habits of the Argentine lake duck.
When I’m not writing I’m gaming and losing myself in a whole other world where I can be the assassin, the gunslinger, the gangster, or the vigilante.
When I’m not writing I’m reading although I don’t seem to make enough time for it.
When I’m not writing I’m making mental notes of what I at some point may write about.
Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time – proof that humans can work magic.
– Carl Sagan
I can’t remember a time in my life when you weren’t a part of it. It may have started off innocently enough but it’s come to the point where I can’t leave your side without feeling a sense of panic. I need you there constantly. What was once good has turned into a kind of obsession. There have been so many times when I tried to push you out of my life yet I keep wanting you back. You soothe me so.
Even now I want to reach for you. Uncap your tube and glide you over my lips. You’ll forever be my addiction, my craving, my lip balm.