Then his eyes rose further, to the sign hanging askew above the shop door, and a tiny spark of hope flared in his breast.
Heh, I had forgotten that I didn't have a post scheduled for today until I checked the page to make sure all the scheduled posts went up properly. That was a close one!
Santa has been very good to me so far (my parents are coming for a quick visit tomorrow, so he's not done yet!) but I'll save my what I got for Christmas post for tomorrow.
Today? Your prompt is: blessing in disguise.
Kat and I flew in to Vancouver this afternoon and went to collect our bags from the Carousel of Doom (better known as baggage claim). My bag showed up but Kat's suitcase decided to take the scenic route.
This was very annoying at first. But then I realized two things, in rather quick succession. First: that thanks to Air Canada delivering the suitcase to our apartment, we didn't have to struggle to get that rather heavy and awkward beast home ourselves. Second: that with only my big bag and our two small backpacks, we could take transit all the way home and not have to waste money on a cab.
So it definitely worked out for the best. Especially considering that the nomad suitcase has been delivered already, safe and sound.
Your four line poem prompt this week: the day after.
I hope Santa was good to you :)
I'll be home tomorrow night, weather permitting.
So many lovely presents were shared,
I've written a lot of words throughout this year. Some here, some on Protagonize, far too many in November.
But today I'm going to keep it simple: I hope you all have a wonderfully happy holiday, be safe, and be good to each other.
And thank you so much for dropping by, whether it's once a day, once a week, or once a year, to share your writing and your thoughts - it means a lot to me.
Your Christmas Eve writing prompt: it's the most wonderful time of the year.
Rudolph is stretching out his legs,
For one night every year,
I give thanks for this joyous night,
Two days to go!
And, at his urging, mine is a continuation of what I wrote on Sunday.
Kat and I are off to Osoyoos this morning, so I'll see you when we get back on Sunday. Hopefully the scheduled posts will go up properly and keep you company in my stead, should you have a chance to drop by during this very busy time of year.
I wrapped my red scarf around my neck and struggled into my white winter jacket as the end of my shift drew near. The instant the clock’s electronic display changed from 7:59 to 8:00 I locked the front door, slung my purse over my right shoulder, and let the tension drain from my forehead. After checking to make sure the safe had been properly secured (the lock could be a bit tricky and I’d been called out by my boss for leaving it unlocked twice already, even though I thought I had) I switched off the main lights and moved to the back of the shop.
Placing my light pink toque over my short blonde hair and wriggling my fingers into my red wool mittens, I took a moment to ready myself for the cold outside. I could hear the wind howling on the other side of the door and struggled to stop myself from shivering before I even left the heat of the flower shop behind. On a sudden whim I decided to treat myself to an early Christmas present and take a cab home instead of waiting around for the bus.
Sucking in a lungful of warm air, I pushed the door open and stepped out into the white night. Once I heard the door click shut behind me I lowered my head and forced my legs through the knee-high snow in the alley. As I reached the sidewalk I saw husbands and wives struggling under the burden of too many gifts in too few bags and couldn’t stop the sneer that sprung to my face.
Ah, the joys of being single and not being on speaking terms with your family – no need for all that nonsense.
Without much hope I looked up and down the street, searching for an unoccupied, on duty cab, and was surprised to find one heading my way on the heavily salted asphalt. I waved my arm and, to my even greater surprise, it actually pulled to a stop.
“Corner of Sage and Timber Avenue, please,” I said as I crawled into the back seat.
“Sure thing, honey,” the cabbie called over his shoulder before bringing us away from the curb.
Oh great, another man who thinks with the wrong head.
But, to my deep pleasure, that was the only comment he made as we wove through the crowded streets. He had his radio set to a jazz station and it was a sweet relief from all the Christmas carols I had been inundated with in recent weeks. When we came to my street I reached for my purse almost reluctantly.
“How much?” I asked as I fumbled for my wallet.
“Oh, don’t worry about it,” he said with a warm smile that actually seemed genuine. “I was heading this way anyway.”
“Are you sure?”
“Absolutely. Have a merry Christmas.”
I nodded my thanks, too stunned to find the proper words, and stepped from the car hardly believing what had just happened. I stood in the blowing snow and watched him drive away until his tail lights faded into the night. Then I turned to walk down my street and, right in the middle of my bleakest winter, a real, honest to goodness smile came to my lips.
Your Two Haiku Tuesday prompt, coming at you with just three short days until Christmas, is: oh Christmas tree.
Man, I used to love those Claymation specials.
So many presents
* * *
The wooden angel
Just a week to go until Christmas!
I've decided that for the next seven days all writing prompts will be the title of various Christmas songs. Today, for Four Line Friday Prose, I'm starting with my personal favorite: silent night.
If you have a favorite song you'd like me to use, feel free to drop me a note.
The stars are watching with sparkling eyes but the moon has gone to bed. The man slips down the chimney with a sack over his shoulder but leaves behind his sled. Then something goes terribly wrong and he lands right on his jolly old head.
The night is silent for now but that will end when the kids find Santa in the fireplace, quite definitely dead.
Note: mmm, holiday spirit. So inspiring!
The countdown to Christmas begins tomorrow!
But today, your prompt is simply: 'tis the season.
It's that special time of year,
When families gather near,
To speak without any fear,
Thanks to the magic of beer.
Outside the snow is falling,
While inside there's name calling,
Voices rising, skin crawling,
And the baby is bawling.
Bridges and dinner are burned,
Half-hearted kind words are spurned,
Vicious battle scars are earned...
And nothing is ever learned.
Your prompt today: name calling.
We had our monthly division meeting at work this morning and they brought someone in to talk about changes that are coming in at the start of next fiscal (April 1st). It was a good presentation and there were lots of good questions raised and I think it went pretty well.
But boy, let me tell you: I would have been a lot happier if my name wasn't brought up quite so much.
"You should talk to Marc about that."
"You need to meet with Marc, he's the one that knows the details of that."
"Marc is the one that takes care of that for us."
Okay, I get it. I'm about to have a crap load of work dumped on me. Can we move on now?
The really funny thing, to me at least, is that as of right now my contract runs out mid-January. Yes, I know they'll offer to extend me again beyond that. But... that doesn't mean I have to say yes.
Yeah, alright, of course I'm going to say yes. It's a good position and I'm lucky to have it. I'll thank you very much to stop ruining my delusional power trip with reality.
Welcome to day number 555 in a row of Daily Writing Practice. If I had been paying attention earlier in the day when I was deciding on the writing prompt, I might have made reference to it in some way.
But I didn't. So your Two Haiku Tuesday prompt this week is: the cemetery.
Snow dusted tombstones
Await spring's distant return
While the dead sleep on
* * *
The words on each stone
Vary but mean the same thing:
I was here. I lived.
I just finished reading The Lovers by John Connolly, one of my favorite authors. So I thought we could use that title for the writing prompt today.
The lovers in the book were not very good... beings, so that's where I took my inspiration from.
Separated for far too long,
By heavy men with slender minds.
Oh but our love, just like us, is
Undying and can't be confined.
We will be joined as one again,
But before our bliss can set in
We will find those responsible
And make them suffer for their sins.
Vancouver is quite officially covered in snow right now. Everything is so much prettier :)
I've also decided how I want to count down to Christmas this year, but that won't be starting until Friday. I think. I might get started early, depending on how excited I get.
Today's prompt comes courtesy of Gwen: listen to any piece of classical music and write whatever it inspires you to write.
Mozart - Eine kleine Nachtmusik
The ballroom is empty,
Except for the two of you.
You dance with eyes squeezed shut,
In a ghostly blur of blue.
The music plays softly,
But your steps are much softer;
Yet somehow they still seem
To echo in the rafters.
Then you dissipate as
The serenade falls silent;
You seemed happy for two
Who met an end so violent.
Kat and I went to a Holiday Market this morning and did a whole bundle of gift buying so I'm feeling much, much more ready for the big day now. Only a couple of things left and I should be all set.
Your four line poem topic this week is: Christmas shopping.
If you've had a particularly unpleasant experience, I'll understand if you need more than four lines to vent.
I think I'll get two of those...
Don't you just love how that glows?
Oh, that will look great on Shawn!
And... where's all my money gone?
Only two weeks until Christmas! Yowza.
Last year I did a twelve days of Christmas lead up to the big day but I haven't decided what I'll do this year yet. That's my way of saying that I'm open to suggestions.
Today's prompt for Four Line Friday Prose: let it snow.
We got a little taste of it here today, with more to come this weekend.
The snowflake performs a slow, lazy dance as it meanders down to earth. It has no thoughts on when and where it shall arrive, no concerns about what others might think of it, no desire to attain the newest gadget. It is simply a snowflake, gliding down to the ground so that it may be transformed into a snowman or snowball, or just to become one small stitch in a massive white blanket.
And that is enough.
Today's prompt: the butterfly effect.
I... don't seem to have anything else to say at the moment. Huh.
I was resting in the small field behind my house, flat on my back and staring up at puffy white clouds, the day it happened.
The sky was full of turtles and bunnies and airplanes, if you took the time to find them in the drifting patches of condensation. As a ten year old with no responsibilities, I was only too happy to spend my afternoon seeking them out. The grass was cool and the air was warm and I moved in and out of sleep for hours. I was roused from my final nap by the arrival of a butterfly on my nose.
I was startled and a little scared at first, but was soon filled with a sense of awe and wonder at its magnificent beauty. Holding my breath, I turned my head gently from side to side, trying to get a better look at its markings, before finally deciding that looking at it with both eyes at once was the best option. We contemplated each other for what felt like days before it finally flicked its wings in farewell and took flight on a soft breeze.
And I have been cross-eyed ever since.
Today's writing prompt: alarm clocks.
Oh I scream and I shout,
Flail my hands all about;
Sing with my arms wide flung
At the top of my lungs...
And still you
When you should
You would sleep until noon
Without me, you buffoon!
But why should you heed my tock?
I'm just an alarm clock.
So go on,
But know that
You bore me.
I am amused that my tale of feeling ill after taking a T3 has prompted a Tylenol ad on my page.
This week's topic for Two Haiku Tuesday: falling star.
Speaking of things that amuse me.
Oh dear, I forgot my manners. Thanks very much Beth!
There's a shining star
Tumbling from the night sky...
I guess I should move.
* * *
I cheated. A lot.
Paid them off but still got caught.
Man, who would have thought?
Decided I needed another day off - I really haven't been getting enough sleep the last few days. Had a better sleep last night, so I'm feeling better today. Lots of resting on the schedule, so I should be back at work tomorrow.
Let's get Monday started with this prompt: too much enthusiasm, not enough talent.
The man logged off his computer and pushed himself away from his desk. In one smooth motion he spun in his chair, picked up his duffel bag from the floor, and rose to leave his cubicle at a brisk walk. He nodded to his coworkers as they headed for the lunch room, brown paper bags clutched in their hands as if they were nervous school children.
The man did not join them, however. Instead he took the elevator down to the lobby and exited the building. He paused to soak in the natural light before joining the flow of sidewalk traffic heading east down Tenth Avenue.
He arrived at the small park and was surprised to find that he was the first to make it there - yesterday he had been the last. He checked his gleaming silver watch to confirm the time and shrugged before taking a seat on the raised concrete that edged the flower garden. With another look around he bent to unzip his black bag.
Pulling the djembe drum from its black confines, he reverently placed the African mahogany beauty between his knees. He had paid top dollar for the drum at a specialty shop on the south side but he knew it was worth every penny. He had done his research.
Still finding no sign of the others he had played with the day before, he decided there was no need to wait. He closed his eyes and began to play.
His fingers beat against the goat skin drumhead for the rest of his lunch hour, his eyes remaining blissfully shut. When he stopped at last and glanced around, he was surprised to find that not only had his fellow players not shown up, but the sidewalk around him was quite devoid of onlookers.
He shrugged and returned his instrument to its bag and returned to his office, already making plans to seek out his fellow musicians at other locations in the neighborhood the following day.
So around four o'clock yesterday afternoon I got up to take a break from writing and realized that I wasn't in any pain. Seeing as I haven't taken any painkillers since Thursday night, this was a rather exciting development.
There's still some swelling, and I can't really open my jaw all the way, but just sitting around there's no aching anymore. Today is also exciting because I get to start putting heat on my cheeks.
Anyway. Recovery is going better than expected. And your prompt today is: a night at the movies.
As I watched the previews play
So many spoilers were on display
I glanced at my ticket and thought,
How many movies had I bought?
Because now that I knew
The villain is the man in blue,
And the city survived the attack,
Why should I ever come back?
Your four line poem prompt today: slow motion.
I think I'll stick to the rules today.
My brain has turned to molasses,
And the air has turned to honey;
Everyone's moving so slowly,
And I'm feeling kinda funny.
Your Four Line Friday Prose prompt this week: totally out of it.
I'm breaking my own rule today. Feel free to do the same or to play along.
Talking with Kat over dinner last night, I learned that I missed out on quite a bit after they brought me out of sedation yesterday morning.
Apparently I kept trying to talk and she kept telling me to rest and that I should only talk if it was really important. She helped me to do some deep breathing for a bit and then I'd start talking again. Finally she handed me a piece of paper and a pencil and I wrote down what I was trying to say.
"You mean when we got home?" I interjected at this point.
"No, after the surgery... don't you remember?"
I shook my head no and she produced the paper. On it I had written, in a messy but legible hand, two words: 'backpack?' because I apparently needed to know where the bag I brought with me was, and one of my nicknames for Kat (which I'm not sharing, so don't bother asking).
Reading that provoked a very emotional response. I don't really understand why, but I ended up laughing and crying at the same time. I don't know if I've ever done that before.
Can I blame the drugs?
Okay, good. Thanks.
This year for my sister Sue's birthday, I got my wisdom teeth out. I hope she likes it, I went through a lot to get it done.
Happy birthday Sue!
Today's writing prompt: pain tolerance.
It's probably too early to tell one way or another, but the pain seems manageable. Tylenol 3, oddly enough, appear to be out of the equation already - I got really nauseous after taking just one with lunch. I say 'oddly enough' because back when I got migraines all the time, T3s were my salvation. I guess I've outgrown them?
Anyway, the nurse said to try ibuprofen instead so I just downed some of those. We'll see how they do.
I've always had a pretty high tolerance for pain. When I was in grade 8 I broke my left wrist and didn't go get it x-rayed until a day or two later. I just got someone in the principal's office to bandage it up because I thought it was just sprained. They x-ray said otherwise, obviously.
Needless to say, being a guy, I'm quite proud of that.
So, right now? I'm rather uncomfortable but it's nothing too bad. I think the ibuprofen is starting to kick in as well. And I should probably get the ice back on my cheeks. So... catch you later.
Just as life starts to return to normal... your prompt today is: losing wisdom.
So tomorrow's the big day - all four of my wisdom teeth are coming out sometime around 10:30 in the morning. Wish me luck and a speedy recovery. Mostly the latter, please.
I'm taking Thursday and Friday off work and hoping to be recovered enough to go back in on Monday. If I look more like a chipmunk than a human being as the end of the weekend approaches, it's a safe be that I'll be staying home an extra day.
I had considered doing a couple of posts ahead of time but then I decided that it would be more interesting to see what I produced while doped up on painkillers. I apologize in advance for any excessive weirdness that might appear in this space in the coming days.
Bring on the soups and the smoothies!
Let us welcome the last month of the year with some haiku. Your Two Haiku Tuesday prompt this week: a complete 180.
I thought you'd chosen,
I thought it was set in stone.
But stone turned to sand.
* * *
You said goodbye and
Headed for the door but a
Gun shot brought you back.