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Susan Sleggs

Flash Fiction and personal thoughts

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Bonding Over Fabric – flash fiction

Lillian leaned on her cane and perused the only two shelves of fabric she had left. She needed four complimentary ones to make the project she had in mind. After trying many combinations she exhausted her options so limped to her chair and eased herself into the worn seat. After a little nap, she called her granddaughter. “Would you have time to take me shopping.”

“I can on Friday.”

When they returned from their excursion, Sally said, “My youngest starts school in September. Could we schedule time to sew together?”

Lillian’s misty eyed response was, “Of course my dear.”

 

In response to Charli Mills April 25, 2019, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes exhaustion. Who is exhausted and why? Can you make art of exhaustion? Go where the prompt leads!

The Price of Enjoying Live Music

Last Wednesday, 1/30/2019, schools were closed in Western New York State because the Polar Vortex came calling. The temperature hovered around zero and the wind blew gales. We had pre-purchased tickets to hear The Canadian Brass perform at our world famous Kodak Hall Eastman Theater. I half wanted my husband to say we weren’t going. Instead we put on our fleece lined jeans, a couple of layers of shirts and wore our warmest winter coats. So did everyone else. In our glamorous theater there was not a suit or dress in sight, except on stage. The music did not disappoint. In fact it was fantastic, catchy, even awe inspiring. The performers were also entertainers and we went home with happiness in our hearts and a new knowledge of an instrument we found out was a contrabassoon. Neither my husband nor I had ever seen one. The lady next to me showed me one on her phone, during intermission. The Fox model 900 costs $28,995.00. That’s more than my present car. I digress. Continue reading “The Price of Enjoying Live Music”

Standing In Respect – flash fiction

The funeral home parking lot was full of cars which hid the numerous motorcycles stashed in the back corner, but their large American flags flapping in the wind gave them away. I had to go look; The Patriot Guard was in presence. To enter the building I had to pass between the colonnade of men, standing at attention, on duty protecting a fellow veteran, a fellow biker and a friend. The haunted look in their eyes wasn’t for the current grief, it was from a long ago senseless war. I know, they were my friends too. Damn Viet Nam.

In response to Charli Mills January 17, 2019, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes colonnades. It can be natural, architectural, or a metaphor. Take a stroll and go where the prompt leads.

Now She Could Move On

Dr. Stephanie Davidson, still limping slightly, came out of the courthouse feeling free and relaxed. Her happiness radiated onto the people she passed. Her divorce from the man who had hired a killer to make her disappear was finalized and both men were serving long jail terms. Thankfully there were no news cameras or questions as a divorce hearing was nothing compared to the attempted murder trials the year before. The police officer that had saved her life when the attempt had been made waited for her. He gazed at her with adoration and said, “No looking back sweetheart.”

In response to Charli Mills January 3, 2019, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a character who looks back. It can be a metaphorical reflection or a glance in the rear-view mirror. Who is looking back, and why? Go where the prompt leads.

All You Need to Know to Rodeo

Platform: Self-Publishing

July Fourth 2018

GP Cox can say it better than I can.

Pacific Paratrooper

While you enjoy your bar-b-ques and fireworks – take a moment to remember the troops that made it all possible for that to happen today.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY USA !!!

 Ralph Waldo Emerson‘s “Concord Hymn.” It was sung at the completion of the Concord Battle Monument on April 19, 1837.

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world,

The foe long since in silence slept,
Alike the Conqueror silent sleeps,
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.

On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set to-day a votive stone,
That memory may their deed redeem,
When like our sires our sons are gone.

Spirit! who made those freemen dare
To die, or leave their children free,
Bid time and…

View original post 181 more words

Daddy Can Dance

Two years after a bad motorcycle accident, Carl was the only father at the Kindergarten Father/Daughter dance in a wheelchair. He had trouble keeping track of Katie in the crowd but he came home with a feeling of exhilaration.

His wife smiled at the glitter on his suit. “How did you get covered?”

 “Lots of Katie’s friends wanted a ride on my lap and they had on sparkly dresses.”

“Pretty, but I’ll never get it all out.”

“That’s fine, every time it glistens I’ll celebrate being alive, and remember twirling with Katie and her friends.”

“Well said my love.”

In response to Charli Mills June 7, 2018, prompt from Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about man glisten. It was a fun term coined by two men with glitter in their beards. What more could it embrace? Look to the unexpected and embrace a playful approach. Go where the prompt leads.

June 7: Flash Fiction Challenge

It Takes a Warrior

The nurse woke Maggie the morning after her right breast was removed. “Your husband wanted me to make sure you saw this.” She held up a framed picture of them holding compound bows. The inscription on the glass read, “To my warrior. Now you have an advantage. Your chief loves you.”

Even though it hurt, Maggie laughed. “We are professional archers. I have complained my boob gets in the way, now it won’t. That’s why we decided I shouldn’t have reconstruction. He tells me it will take a warrior to beat cancer and get strong enough to compete again.”

 

In response to Charli Mills May 31, 2018, prompt from Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about warrior women. It can be myth or everyday mothers and wives. Go where the prompt leads.

Learning to Cook – Memoir

I grew up in a 4-H household in the rural Finger Lakes area of western New York state. The H’s stand for head, heart, hands, health and we had adult mentors that taught us general life lessons. In my case, cooking and sewing. Other kids raised farm animals but we lived in a little town of 300 people, so didn’t have the necessary barn or pasture.

My mother taught pie baking and I remember a specific lesson on how to make a bed with the sheets tucked properly to make square corners.395590_347158358644482_100000509610379_1385887_1859574689_nMy mother doing the demonstration and the back of my head. I was between 5 and 6. Two other “students” look on.

Being the youngest of four girls I learned to bake and cook through osmosis, watching everyone older than me. I don’t remember a specific time in the kitchen with my Mom but my older sisters let me sift the flour and measure the sugar. I was baking batches of cookies and sweet breads on my own by the age of twelve and full dinners by the age of fifteen. Full dinner meaning meat, potato and vegetable.

We “harvested” wild game and fish so I learned how to clean and cook them from my father. Taking a deer from the field and ending with the meat in the freezer is something I can still do today. We liked the flavor of the meats so they were fried, baked or roasted with just salt and pepper, no fancy sauces to mask what we were eating. After a duck and/or goose hunt he would check what was in their gizzard while cleaning them. If the contents were muddy we didn’t eat the meat because it would taste muddy, but if the contents were grain, we enjoyed the whole bird. Fish eggs from perch, trout, or sunfish were enjoyed by all.

To this day I have trouble cooking for just two. Thankfully my husband likes leftovers. “Playing” in my kitchen is fun and to this day most things, sweet and otherwise, are made from scratch. I do regret I didn’t learn to make roses out of frosting to decorate a birthday cake like my Mom used to. Mine always look like they don’t have enough petals and are already wilted. It’s nice to remember hers.

Sun Sillies – Flash Fiction

The new pastor was determined to bring some energy into the rural church. The week after Easter, with snow flurries still happening on a daily basis, he announced, “Next week, services will be in our barn at 3pm. I’ve heard a lot of you worked on parade floats there in years past so you know what a fine space it is. We’ll have a potluck after and music to do a little dancing like we have the sun sillies.”

The following week attendance doubled, everyone forgot their winter blues and baby goats antics were the hit of the evening.

*

In response to Charli Mills April 5, 2018, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a silly sun story. Up north, “sun silly” is the energetic and playful response to returning sunlight. It could also be an April Fool’s jest, a silly story, or a reaction to spring fever. Be silly and write playfully! Go where the prompt leads.

April 5: Flash Fiction

Trees in My Life – memoir

Irene Waters asked writers to share memoir about trees. Following is the link if you want to join the fun. She asks for our generation and location so we can compare differences.

Trees: Times Past

Baby Boomer from rural western New York State.
Currently I look out our family room window and delight at the action of many different kinds of birds that visit the feeders. The Niger seeds and suet hang from a crabapple tree. There is a “fake tree” everyone perches on made from large branches stuck into the hole in a patio table (where the umbrella would go) and a large cedar that wiggles constantly because there are so many sparrows and other birds perched in/on it. Keeping the feeders full is a daily job, but the entertainment is worth every penny the seed costs.
In the 1950’s and 60’s my parents owned an acre of pine trees that my grandfather had planted to sell for Christmas trees. As the youngest of four girls I can remember going “out to the woods” to cut our Christmas tree. They were not trimmed like today so looked a bit scraggly and were soon to big to be used. Then the trees became the play area for the town children. Both boys and girls had separate forts. Our mother’s would scold us for getting pine pitch on our clothes.
From my sister Paula… “I think Tilley (our cat) would spy on me when I climbed trees and checked on bird nests. Then they would get robbed!!
Joanne and I played, for hours, out in the back left corner. There was a pussy willow tree there we cut branches from each year.
I knew the whole area very well and ventured farther out back, across fields (don’t know who owned them) and on into Uncle Louie’s woods where he had an old sugar shack. On one of my walks I saw a beautiful Snowy Owl. Dee (Our dachshund) would go with me and dig up baby mice and voles, and eat them!
One warm afternoon, Joanne came looking for me and asked, ‘WHAT ARE YOU DOING OUT HERE?’ I was lying on the ground, watching the clouds float by and listening to birds and bugs singing…… near a pile of fence row trees that had been bulldozed up to make more space for growing crops. Dee loved snooping all through the brush and would chase rabbits, howling as they scooted away, because she couldn’t keep up.”
Trees have always been an important part of my life, like good friends.
Thank you Irene for the walk down memory lane.

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