The Ferryman Sits.

The Ferryman sits in his long, narrow canoe.
He sits with a long, narrow paddle in his hands.
The canoe sits still in the unmoving water while soft, sad fog drifts around.

The Ferryman sits there with a wide-brimmed straw hat upon his head.
The straw hat shields his eyes and the back of his head.
But the sun does not shine.

The Ferryman sits and waits for his passengers.
His passengers will come to him.
They will come only one at a time.

The Ferryman’s canoe is long, but it is narrow.
There is room aboard for only two.
The Ferryman and his passenger.

He waits for his passenger to arrive.

He looks to the shore.
He looks to the wooden-plank bridge that stretches over the water.
There are no handrails.

The wooden-plank bridge stretches only so far.
The wooden-plank bridge does not reach the Ferryman’s canoe.
His passenger will have to find their way to him.

Some passengers come willingly.
Some passengers come fearfully.

Some beg to go home.
Some beg to stay.

But the Ferryman sits in his long, narrow canoe.
And he waits, sitting there with his long, narrow paddle in his hands.
He knows that his passenger will come.

One at a time.
One by one.

The Ferryman will take them across the still, silent water.
He will take them beyond the fog and into what lies on the other side.

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The Daily Spur Presents…..In Another Life

Rebecca Whitt walked over to the window in her sage-green undergarments. She opened the curtains and knelt.

The sunlight shined on her face and made her red-blonde hair look like fire.

She closed her eyes.

Ambrose muttered something in his sleep.

Rebecca smiled at the sound of his voice.

Ambrose.

Ambrose Smith.

He was supposed to be just a fling. Nothing real. Nothing permanent. Just a consolation prize for losing her sister. Just a little bit of something to comfort her in her time of grief and need.

But something had changed that day.

When he came to her house, he was shaky and near nonverbal. Yet, he had made his feelings clear. Oh, not with words. Far from it. It was all in the way he looked at her. The way he could barely speak. The poor boy was smitten and smitten quite hard.

His lack of polish and finesse had charmed her. She had let him into her house…and into her bed. He had comforted her quite well, but it wasn’t supposed to last.

She hadn’t meant for it to last beyond that one time.

Rebecca opened her eyes and turned back to look at him. Her smile became genuine. How many ‘that one time’s had it been by now? How many days? How many months? It hadn’t quite hit a full year yet, but it would be soon.

Rebecca rose. She walked with light steps to the bed, her bare feet barely made a sound.

Ambrose slept face down in his pillow.

His pillow?

Her pillow?

Was there a difference any more? Did it even matter?

She sat on the bed and stroked his deep black hair. “You are the first man to make me feel this way. You are the first and only man I’ve wanted to stay with. So, stay with me, Ambrose. Love just me.” She kissed the back of his head. “Don’t leave me.”

**********

Rebecca Whitt sat on her bed and watched her husband sleep. She smiled tenderly and stroked his dark brown hair.

A memory came to her mind. A distant, long-forgotten memory of Ambrose Smith and the day of her sister’s funeral. “My mother had sent him to fetch me. He arrived, a whole jittering mess and muddle of hormones and nerves. I thought he’d be a good distraction at worst and a good comfort at best. He was nothing.”

She shook her head. “Just a disappointment. Maybe in another life, he was enough for me. Maybe in that other life, he and I stayed together.” She kissed the side of her husband’s face. “I’m so glad this isn’t that life. You are the one and only man I want to be with. You are the only one I love. It’s just you.”

https://thedailyspur.wordpress.com/2022/06/18/photo-prompt-830/

The Daily Spur Presents…..Father Grenville’s New Parish Church.

The journey had been long and tiring. Long distance plane trip, train trip, jeep trip, and finally off-the-beaten-path hiking trip.

Father George Grenville stopped at the summit of the high hill and looked down into the valley. He exhaled a breath of tired relief. There it was — his church. His new parish. Although, new probably wasn’t the most accurate word. While this church was new to him, it was over three hundred years old. It looked beautiful and pristine, but Father Grenville knew that there was a lot of work that needed to be done. So many things, including the creation of a proper parking lot. The previous parking lot had been neglected into nonexistence. There wasn’t even the outline of where it had been.

Yes, there was a lot of work to be done.

Father Grenville’s gaze moved upward, from the modest church with its belltower to the trees towering higher and higher above it to the mountains that stood taller than the treeline. And his gaze moved even higher to the sky.

“Dear Lord.” he prayed. “There is so much I need to do. Please help me in my work here. But, as always, Thy will be done.”

He said a few more prayers before adjusting the heavy backpack on his back. His gaze traveled from the sky to the mountains to the criss-crossed treelines. That’s when he noticed. The treelines crossed each other in such a way that it almost looked like hands folded in prayer.

He smiled and continued his journey down the hill.

https://thedailyspur.wordpress.com/2022/06/03/church-in-the-dolomiti/

The Last Mermaid

We were immortal….or so I thought.

I believed.

We were many, so very many. More than words. More than numbers. And our numbers would never diminish.

I believed.

I swam with my sisters and my brothers. I swam with my friends and family. All of our family. We were beautiful. Our voices carried long and far under the ocean waves. And we were so free.

But time changed so many things.

Lives were cut short.

So many lives.

By fisherman’s hook.

By sickness.

By sharks.

By mishaps and mistakes.

By fertility difficulties.

Some lives didn’t even begin.

Some lives couldn’t even start.

Our numbers…

They were so many.

Our numbers…

So much more than any other ocean creature.

Our numbers…depleted.

Our music…

It used to be a great chorus. It used to be heard for miles. It used to draw the young sailors to search for us.

Our music…

Our chorus…

…thinned out.

As we died away.

So many died away.

Until my family were the only ones who remained.

Until they died away as well. One by one by a sickness we could not cure.

*****

I am alone now. I still swim through our ocean. I still sing in the hopes that someone out there may hear me. I still sing with the hope that I am not completely alone.

But there are no responses to my song.

I sing alone.

My voice is a longing cry to be heard.

I sing alone.

My song is plaintive and lonely.

I sing alone.

My voice is full of sorrow.

I sing alone, but I still sing.

For as long as I will live, I will sing the songs of my people. For doing so keeps them close to me. I remember them all.

My memories are always with me.

The Daily Spur Presents…..The Fading Of The Light.

I had been losing my eyesight a little at a time for the past several years. It didn’t start as anything dramatic. If anything, it was all very gradual.

I noticed it at first with my peripheral sight. The range of my peripherals shrunk in imperceptible bits until it was gone. Driving became adventurous and quickly became impossible. I had to surrender my keys before I could accidentally side-swipe another car. Or motorcycle.

Last time was a motorcycle.

I honestly did not see the motorcycle there. That knowledge did not bring any comfort to that teen’s grieving family.

Things became worse after that. My persistent gray floaters stopped floating. They stuck together. They turned black.

Impenetrable black.

That blackness multiplied until my world of light was nothing but a semi-circle.

I went to the eye doctor. He gave me a diagnosis. I still don’t know what it was. I just remembered the word Irreversible and Blindness. He may have said something about catching it sooner and prolonging the inevitable. But there was no catching it now. No prolonging what would happen.

It was inevitable.

It was now.

I was going blind.

I slept with the light on so I could hold onto the light for as long as I could. Actually falling asleep was a daunting task. I didn’t want to close my eyes. I was terrified about what I would wake up to. So terrified of how much more sight I would lose in four hours, six hours, eight hours, twelve hours.

I knew the time would come when I would wake to impenetrable, unbreakable, unlightable blackness.

I would be completely blind.

I would be in the dark until the day I died.

My family sent me to therapy to deal with the impending doom. My therapist sent me to classes where I would learn skills to handle living in the dark.

I learned many things, but deep down I was terrified.

Then, as my world of vision slowly shrank into a smaller and smaller semi-circle, I made a decision. I wanted to see the mountains.

Before I went completely blind, I wanted to see the mountains.

I needed to see them.

So, my family took me to them.

The whole drive there was like going through an endless tunnel where the entrance was forever just in reach. But I couldn’t break through. I couldn’t get through that entrance. It stayed out of reach. Everything outside of that entrance was blurry but oh so full of light.

The sky was cloudy but light. Gray, gray light.

It was a long journey.

Such a long journey.

It rained.

Then, the rain went away. Some of the grayness dissipated. The sun broke through the clouds.

And oh.

Oh.

The mountains.

The mountains were ahead of us, outside of my semicircle of dark, inside the brilliance of light. The mountains seemed to glow.

They were beautiful.

They were glorious.

I would always remember them.

Even when the dark came…I wouldn’t forget.

https://thedailyspur.wordpress.com/2022/05/02/love-driving-through-tunnels/

The Daily Spur Presents…..Black And White Memory

“My last day in Glasgow…” The old woman closed her heavy-lidded eyes.

The interviewer waited. He wasn’t naturally patient, but it was a skill he’d learned over the years.

“I remember…” Her voice, as thin and as unsteady as muslin, trailed off.

Again, he waited. She’d either fall asleep or tell her story. Either way, he’d wait.

“The memory…It is like a vintage photo taken by someone else and stored away in a photo box. It’s static. Everything is perfectly frozen in place. Everything is black and white. But in that static black-and-white image is so much. So many small memories. So many feelings.”

“Tell me.” he said. Then, he remembered his manners. “Please.”

She looked at him and smiled. But the expression in her eyes was distant. “It was a beautiful day. Warm, but not hot. Hazy. Everyone thought it was going to rain, but I didn’t care about that. I opened the window and leaned outside.”

He frantically wrote his notes as she spoke, looking up every now and then to catch the nuances of her expression.

“There was a smell in the air…that particular, peculiar smell of summer rain even though it hadn’t begun to rain. I inhaled long and deep, savoring that scent and how it mixed with the city’s pavement and oil smell.”

“It’s amazing that you still remember that smell so well.” he said.

“Not so. Scent is the longest memory, even when you can’t remember all of the details. But I remember. The bridge…It was both so big and so small at the same time. Almost like something put together in a puzzle. So much more and less than real life. If that makes sense.”

He nodded and kept writing.

“There were people down below. Some were walking on the bridge. Others walking past it. I folded my arms and leaned on the windowsill. I watched those small distant people walking about their day.” She smiled, crinkling the wrinkles at the corners of her eyes. “I was quite a romantic-minded girl. I would watch those people and pretend that one of them was my boyfriend. He was on his way to buy me flowers. Or he was trying to work up the courage to ask my parents for my hand in marriage. I also pretended that he wasn’t my boyfriend yet. But I had caught his eye when I had gone to market. He had seen me buying tomatoes and fell deeply in love with me.” She laughed and it was a soft flutter of a sound.

He stopped writing to just take in the sound and look of her laugh. For a moment, he could easily imagine the girl she had once been.

“On that particular day, I noticed a lot of activity down there. A lot of people. A lot of children.” Her smile dropped. “Before I could make sense of what I was seeing, someone knocked on our door. No, not knocked. Pounded. Pounded with fierce energy. It scared me. I ran to my mother. It was a man. He told my father that the children of the city were being evacuated. Right then and there. No time to think about it. No time to mentally prepare. I had to pack quickly, say my very fast good-byes to my parents, and leave.”

“What happened next?” he asked eagerly.

“What happened next? Many things.” She closed her eyes. “But I am tired and need my sleep.” She opened one eye. “If you come back tomorrow, I will tell you more.”

“Thank you. I will come back tomorrow. Same time?”

She closed her eye. “Same time.”

https://thedailyspur.wordpress.com/2022/05/11/vintage-photo-of-glasgow-during-wwii-photo-was-made-from-scanned-film-photo-was-made-from-scanned-print-photographer-charles-wilfred-linder/

Painted Words

The words painted a picture
As the girl read the book.

The words painted a picture
Of early dawn skies
Of purple mountains
Of falling rain.

The girl turned the page
And read painted words
Of joy and laughter
Of hopes and fears.

And the words made her see.
And the words made her feel.
And the words made her laugh.
And the words made her cry.

The author chose words
Carefully chosen words
Nouns and adjectives.
Verbs and adverbs
To paint her story
With images strong and bright.

The author’s words painted pictures.
Those pictures created worlds
And feelings
And hopes
And dreams.

The girl turned the next page.
Her heart raced with excitement.
What would happen next?

https://puttingmyfeetinthedirt.com/2022/04/01/april-2022-writing-prompts/

Black And White And Gray

Black and white
And remnants of gray.

Graffitied images
Graphic images
On a building’s back.

Black and white
And whorls of gray.

Smooth lines
Sharp edges
Graphic beauty
On a building’s side.

Black and white
And shadows of gray.

There it is.
There it remains.
Graffitied images
On a building’s side
On a building’s back
All throughout the years.

https://puttingmyfeetinthedirt.com/2022/04/01/april-2022-writing-prompts/

The Daily Spur Presents…..Break-Up

It was the last day that they would spend together.

The last time they would spend each moment together.

She knew it.

He didn’t.

Every word was a dance around the truth, an avoidance of the inevitable.

Every smile from her was a lie.

Every kiss a knife to his heart, a determined betrayal that would sting him for months.

It wasn’t until they were at the Post-Modern Museum 4 UPtown Art that she knew. She couldn’t take it anymore.

He had her pose by the Burchowski Bridge interactive art piece. A smile. Her hand in her hair just so. Her head leaned back. Her foot flat against the red artwork.

She smiled at him and told him, “It’s over between us, love.” just as he took the picture.

https://thedailyspur.wordpress.com/2022/04/24/photo-prompt-793/