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Sue Spitulnik

Creative Lady

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#99WordStories

“Hunting” Trip

Kurt sat in his deer-hunting tree stand armed with his new I-phone. He couldn’t shoulder a gun because of his broken arm, but he could use his fingers, so he decided to “shoot” with the much-hyped camera. Climbing the ladder to the stand had been a chore, but he loved the woods when the air was brisk and the colorful leaves floated in silence. Noting each sound, he focused on it and snapped photos of chipmunks, birds, squirrels, and two deer that walked by. He learned “hunting” with a camera was peaceful and reverent, unlike being an Army sniper.

Note: Kurt is “the quiet one” in the Band of Brothers and plays guitar and steel.

Katie Puts Her Foot Down

The Irish Dance Troupe sponsored by the No Thanks was always featured in the Fireman’s Carnival parade, some dancing and some riding in convertibles. This year the oldest group felt they had earned the right to ride, but were arguing over which car they wanted to carry them. Katie listened long enough, then went to make a private phone call.

Later, when it was time to leave, Katie had each dancer pick a crayon out of a bag. She said, “The convertibles have balloons tied to their bumpers. You’ll ride in the car whose balloon matches your crayon color.”

Note: Katie is Mac’s adult granddaughter and teaches the Irish Sword Dance.

Written in response to Charli Mills September 12, 2022, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about balloons on a bumper. Is it a spectacle, an occasion, an eccentricity? Why are the balloons there? Who is involved? Go where the prompt leads!

A Modern Conversation

Text from Lexi. “Mom, do you know what Human Chorionic Gonadotropin is?”

Answer from Tessa. “No. Google it.”

Answer from Lexi. “LOL. I know what it is. It’s a hormone in a lady’s pee. You better sit down.”

“I am.”

“Good news. Adam’s little swimmers did their thing and I can put away all the red stuff.”

“Are you telling me you’re pregnant?”

“Yes! Isn’t that great?”

“Wonderful! Michael’ll want to know immediately. Can I tell Grandma?”

“Not for a couple months. We just found out.”

“Okay. I’m happy the red sheets helped everyone have a swimmingly good time.”

Prompt word from Charli Mills at Carrot Ranch Literary – swimmingly

A Letter to Mac

My Beloved Mac,

     I’m sorry I didn’t have enough courage to visit the United States. I have so much guilt for bowing to my family’s wishes years ago. I’m also filled with shame, for I have never told my other children about their brother, and now I am afraid to. Life is such a funny thing. My happiest memories are of us laughing and feeling alive during a horrific time. I must accept that they are only memories, not the reality of today, but they do help me carry on. I’m happy for you in your life.

                                                                       Love, Truyet

Note: Truyet is Mac’s son Thad’s biological mother in Vietnam. Her father forced her to send Thad to be raised by his American father 50 years ago. 

Emma’s Jester Imitation

Adam watched his daughter flap the skirt of her sundress while she ran from the kitchen into the family room, around the footstool, and then down the hallway toward the bedrooms. Shortly she ran back, the best a two-year-old can run. Fearful she might get hurt, Adam said, “Emma. Walk!”

Emma stopped and looked at him, still holding her skirt. “I’m being Jester.” She giggled.

Adam looked confused. “Being Jester?”

Tessa appeared in the kitchen doorway. “She’s flapping her skirt to imitate Jester’s ears flopping when he sticks his head out the van window.”

“I see. Be careful, Sweetie.”

Note: Jester belongs to Emma’s grandfather Michael.

A Blue Reminder

While visiting Tyrell’s parents’ beautiful remote home, Tessa spotted the abandoned house almost hidden by trees. Tyrell offered to take her to see it.

As they entered, Tessa noticed the faded fancy blue dress hanging by a window.

Tyrell said, “Mama tells my Grandma was to wear that to wed her beau, but another migrant killed him in a knife fight about who was to be boss. Grandma died soon after, so my Mama, already a young girl, hung that dress there to be a reminder to break the family cycle of poverty and violence. You’re witnessing her success.”

Note: Tyrell is the African-American drummer in Michael’s band

Written in response to Charli Mills August 8, 2022, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about “the one who left the dress.” A 1940s-era dress still hangs in an abandoned house. Who left it and why? You can take any perspective and write in any genre. It can be a ghost story. Or not. Go where the prompt leads!

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