MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the category “Short Stories”

Set in stone

stone-house

©Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

It was part of their family heritage ever since her relatives remembered. But she was around to see it refurbished. The stone walls were whitened and reinforced and the interior completely renovated.

As a child, she pretended it was her castle and she was longing for her prince to come riding along on a white stallion.

Over the years, she stopped being so demanding though. He didn’t have to have a horse. And he didn’t have to be royal.

When she saw him approach, she realised that all that mattered was him being a decent person. And to love her.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

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Deciphering obscure objects

https://www.google.gr/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=imgres&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjn8a_wuPfdAhXD3KQKHR9mAx8QjRx6BAgBEAU&url=http%3A%2F%2Folhocurioso2015.blogspot.com%2F2015%2F10%2Fcomo-se-forma-neblina.html&psig=AOvVaw0xWhJTnB9Okhc0pQC7eV19&ust=1539108693186256Look at this. Look at it closely. What do you think it is?”

She showed him a picture of an object that was too unclear to decipher. It was oblong with sharp edges. It could be anything really. His mind began to race. The young boy had millions of images in his head as to what that object may be. They were bombarding him like fighter plane missiles.

Here’s the catch,” his teacher told him. “You only have two guesses. So make them count”.

The boy became even more agitated. Only two. The margin of error was too tight.

The object could be anything. How could he make sure he found the right answer?

In his head, he was putting together a jigsaw – placing his imaginary items onto the unknown object and assessing how far it matched.

It was a trial of imagination, of expectation, of prediction.

The task was to understand that very often in life, we imagine one thing, we expect another, we make it up in our heads to be that which we think it is, and in the end we end up disappointed when we find out it is something extremely different.

In the end we get hurt from our own expectations, when all we need to do is train ourselves to expect the lowest, even from the places and people we though the highest of.

Nature’s work

sandras-shells

© Sandra Crook

Look at the pretty seashells and corals over here”. The little girl approached the so-called “Nature Table” barely tall enough to look over it. She stared at the natural sponge, the hardened corals and the various sized- and shaped- seashells. She looked perplexed.

Under the water they look more alive”.

The museum guide suddenly felt helpless for words.

Well,” he began, desperately trying to say something positive.

Water is their natural habitat. But out here, we can observe them better, right?

Strange,” the little girl said.

Despite the waves and the water pressure look how pretty and strong they are”.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Cooking temptations

https://usateatsiptrip.files.wordpress.com/2018/03/gettyimages-887636042.jpg?w=1000&h=600&crop=1His father was the one who taught him to be patient and follow instructions. To risk in trying something new. To be creative, inventive and artistic in everything he did. He was the one who taught him how to cook.

His mother was an excellent cook. Her food was finger-licking tasty. But she was the “safe-type”, the one who preferred to follow instructions exactly as they were written with few if any deviations from the recipe. Like all women, she preferred order in her kitchen.

His father, on the other hand, had a mastery for cooking up his own recipes. He usually made a mess out of the kitchen, but prepared something spectacular in the end. He found that if something looked pleasant to the eye, it probably tasted good too. He was the “innovative chef”, the one who didn’t mind trying unprecedented procedures or cooking methods. Who preferred to get burnt and learn than to keep doing the same thing that was passed down to him. He was the one who wanted to have something new to pass on to the next generations.

So when Anton graduated from the top gastronomy school in the world, it was only natural that he would distinguish himself in the sector. A kitchen was more his home than his living room. He did not fear the blades of his knives or the fire of his stove. What he most anguished about what his most severe critic: his own future wife. For he knew that the best way to a person’s heart is through their stomach. And it was all down to the judgement of their taste buds to give the final verdict.

Cat attacks

https://www.chewy.com/petcentral/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/kitten-mom-cat-TS-480025920.jpgThe entire house woke up from the shrills of a mother cat in the back yard. Recently, having given birth, the cat was overwhelmed with mood swings and the urge to protect her newborns at every cost.

The kittens had not yet opened their eyes, but their fur had already formed polychromatic waves making them irresistibly cute to anyone who saw them.

The cat raced across the yard, night or day, at the sight of any intruder. She even attached the previous batch of her own kittens out of fear they would harm the new arrivals.

But, as a true cat, she would always welcome a caress, a tender stroke on her head and under her chin, and food, of course. But that was whenever she felt like it.

Because like a true cat, life happened according to her own rules.

Two goats on a bridge

https://blog.cancaonova.com/seguidoresdocaminho/files/2011/12/fabula-duas-cabras.gif?file=2011/12/fabula-duas-cabras.gifThere is a story we are told as children about two goats fighting over a narrow bridge.  The story goes that “One day a goat was crossing the bridge. He saw another goat crossing the bridge in the opposite direction. The bridge was so narrow that there was no space for both of them to pass. Both of the goats didn’t want to go back. One goat said to the other goat “You should go back since I am stronger than you”. The other goat denied saying it’s stronger. Both of them argued for a while. Later, one goat put down his horns to fight to show it is stronger than the other. They fight furiously and both of them lost their balance and fell into the stream below. The swift current of the stream carried them away in deep water and both of them were drowned.” The story continues that a while later, two other goats approached the bridge and started quarrelling for the same reason. However, this time one told the other that to save them both from drowning, it would lie down and  the other would walk over it. “Then the wise goat lay down on the bridge, and the other goat walked over him. So they passed each other, and went on their ways”. The moral of the story is that “anger leads to sorrow and please leads to joy”.

But there is more to that.

We often become so stubborn we don’t want to be the one who withdraws from a quarrel no matter how big or insignificant it may be. We feel that we would be seen as weak if we back down, if we compromise, if we admit to the fact that our view is not the only one and not the only right one.

Yet, we make it a matter of strength, of vigour, of status, to be the goat that marches ahead and does not allow any other to move ahead of us.

We end up drowning ourselves and taking others down with us. When all we need to do is look around us and perceive the other side of things too. Allowing others to walk passed, does not always mean that we are left behind. It just means that we are wise enough to allow others to co-exist and that sometimes trying to prove yourself all the time is just not worth it.

The tenant of the clock

jhc-clock

©J Hardy Carroll

It was a present from the global travels of a great uncle. It was a gift passed down each generation. It was one that carried the history of its owners with it.

It was finely crafted and had an essence of another era. It stood out in every home it was placed. But that was its point after all: to remind you that you should stand out of the crowd.

One night in its new location, a faint scratching woke everyone up. It wasn’t the clock ticking.

It was something hiding inside the clock-tower: a tiny kitten seeking a home.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

A vintage outfit

©MCD

©MCD

The rattling outside his window in the middle of the night did not wake him. Nor did the scratching of the metal on the pavement disturb his sleep. He paid no attention whatsoever to the movement on his front yard at the break of dawn.

But when he woke, he found it there. Right outside his garage door.

It was just as he imagined it would be. Light brown with silver, red, blue and yellow lines and a green and gold rim round the wheels.

A motorcycle with a sidecar.

It was vintage but he had always dreamed of one. He even knew the little-known fact that “a motorcycle with a sidecar is sometimes called a combination, an outfit, a rig or a hack”.

In his head, he was already racing in the countryside with the “outfit”, among green trees and pick-nick perfect valleys. Driving like in those old movies he used to watch, and hoping he wouldn’t hit a tree and split from his other half.

But… he lacked the company. The one to sit in his sidecar.

Just at that moment, someone made their presence felt.

A gentle bark and a wagging of its fury tail as it approached was all he needed to persuade him to let his fleece-golden Labrador be his sidekick in this new adventure.

A night view that unites

gah_window

©Gah Learner

Look at that full moon. Just days ago, it was but a slit in the night sky. Barely even visible. And now…it illuminates the darkness”.

She stared at the empty page highlighted by her lamp. Still not a word. She just couldn’t get her feelings out. All the words were swirling in her mind. A hurricane inside that refused to exteriorise itself.

And all she could do was stare out the window at the view. It was an essential part of the house they bought together.

Maybe he too is staring at this very moon now too. Wherever he is”.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Reflecting feelings

nathan-sowers-dawn-millers-friend

©Nathan Sowers

It was the only thing left over from the yard sale. And she didn’t understand why. If she could afford it, it would have been the first thing she would spend her money on. It was plain and “normal”, but sometimes what looks simple is more than that. Plus, it definitely had a story. It must have. Nothing so “ordinary” was every what it appeared to be.

As the sun set, she found herself mesmerised by it. The clear reflection of the garden shed had captured her attention.

Or perhaps it was the flickering light that appeared at its window.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

 

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