Wattpad has become the site for many writers originally from the now defunct Amazon's WriteOn by Kindle, and one of the things we missed the most was our regular weekend write-in 'prompt' word.
As I wrote my flash-fiction (and non-fiction) stories last year (2016), I usually removed them from their individual slots monthly and added those stories to the collection I called 'Prompt and Circumstance'. The whole collection continues to stand under that name.
Now in 2017, I'm creating a new collection for the year, this time called 'Paradoxically Yours... ' - flash fiction (and non-fiction) tales written for the purpose-designed 'Weekend Writein prompts', challenging writers to produce around 500 word stories each time we choose to join the party.
Why paradoxically, you ask? I like these definitions -
1. A statement that seems to contradict itself but may nonetheless be true
2. A person, thing, or situation that exhibits inexplicable or contradictory aspects
To save much unnecessary down-scrolling by my reader, I will always make the first story the latest I have written. All have the prompt word that inspired the story, and are dated.
The only thing left to do now is read... and enjoy!
Copyright note: This is a Wattpad book by Christine Larsen and so is fully protected by All Rights Reserved copyright. If you are reading this elsewhere, it has been taken without my permission and I/Wattpad can take legal action - with one exception - here on Tablo Publishing where I have full rights to publish my own works.
© 2017 Christine Larsen
prompt: 'money' 8/12/2017)
The King was in his counting house,
Counting out his money;
His little princess perched next to him,
Seriously cute... and funny.
I know if she wriggles too much, she's likely to fall off the cushions piled on top of the chair to make her tall enough for her most serious after tea job.
The adult me whispers to that child of memory, stay still and concentrate. There'll be no more lovely nightly ritual if you don't. And then I see her lip drop and quiver. And the eyes! Ahh OK then... just ONE small wriggle, but hold on tight. Can't help a smile as I see the small Christine grin her cheekiest.
There were arms on that chair. She knew she was safe. Besides, her darling dad was there to prop her back up if she faltered. But I won't! she mouths, across those years between then and now. As her attention shifted to fixate on Dad with adoration, I chuckle at my mental picture of the two of them.
Whilst his small daughter was perfecting her balancing act, Dad had opened the huge silver cash register in his shop with a secret code. A sharp pull of the handle and the money drawer would spring out to reveal its tray of myriad compartments separating various notes held firmly in place by spring clips, and coin divisions in a removable container for ease of counting the day's takings.
These many years later, I imagine he felt much like that king of the rhyme above, accompanied by his small but trusty assistant teller, always and ever chattering about something, whilst solemnly stacking the coins in their correct denominations. He smiled most fondly as he collected the carefully piled coins and tipped them into small paper bags marked with different values.
The talkative child of yesteryear couldn't help herself asking, "Did Bob and Barry and Jenny all help you like I do, Dad? Did they count the money too? And did they have to sit on cushions, too? And—"
He interrupted her with a kiss on top of her head. "Ohh barleys, you little possum. One question at a time, if you don't mind." He saw his trusty sidekick drawing breath to roll on again, so he answered quickly. "No, they didn't help me. They were too busy being playmates with each other. Now shhh!" and he tried to look stern and make his voice tough. He tried, but failed dismally.
I'm smiling again, remembering a time many years later (in my terrible teens) when he did growl - more gently and lovingly than I've ever known. And made me cry for the shame I felt.
Dad was certain a career involving numbers awaited me. Accountancy maybe, or banking. But no. The 'assistant teller' finally became a wordsmith, because numbers simply don't sing.
What that child did have was a total fascination with Dad's handwriting; the most beautiful script, complete with the proscribed light upward and firm downward strokes.
I have no doubt this admiration gave birth to my love of words and writing.
Me either, I seem to hear that 'little possum' whisper.
(prompt: 'sharp' 1/12/2017)
Doctors and hospitals have featured largely in my life in recent months, resulting in the unwelcome invasion of countless blood tests, plus cannula insertions for ease of supplying pain medication and antibiotics (and anaesthetic purposes, too). These charmers come to you via syringes and drips (no dear, I'm not talking about the hospital staff. Although, there was that one... and then that other time when... ). Consequently I have become unhappily familiar with 'sharps'.
'Sharps' you ask? That's the name for needles, designed to leave the patient wondering why 'they' would use such simplistic terminology in an industry drowning in devilishly difficult and unpronounceable names, like my latest procedure to rid my world of a monster gallstone I lovingly named Ayers Rock. It's called an ERCP - and please take careful note - even the medicos don't want to pronounce the full name that goes a little like this -
Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography.
They avoid writing the name in full - possibly because spelling is close to the art of handwriting in the medical curriculum, and most otherwise highly trained medicos fail constantly in THAT department. (As you find when you steam open the sealed envelope with your test results, and then can't read a thing! If it's not the language, it's the so-called handwriting. And when it's all neatly typed out, it's most definitely knee-deep in impossible medical terminology with a large sprinkling of Latin. And WHO knows what that says?)
I haven't yet mentioned that many nurses and other blood-letting types have great difficulty in nicking off with my blood. It wasn't always this way. Once I was most generous with the stuff - but that was then, and this is now. And now these well-matured and experienced veins of mine know exactly what is coming when a needle approaches. They have two major evasive actions - drop and hide - OR - dance. It's the truth. My veins have totally taken over from my feet, and can trip the light fantastic at the tiniest glint of a needle. (Should see the problems I have mending!)
One young blood lady at our local clinic has it all sorted. "A butterfly needle is what you need," she cheerfully states and proceeds to take up to five phials of blood if that's what my Doc has requested. It's still sharp on the inward journey, but done in a flash - simple as... It's a mystery!
There was this one time when my laughter threatened to flood out like a burst water pipe, or ruptured main artery or similar. It was the time when a little Asian doctor gave me several injections over a short period of time, and every time, as he tightly held my arm and plunged his 'sharp' into me, he'd say, 'Sting-ng-ng-ng-ng-ng-ng-ng'. He sounded exactly like a harpsichord or similar, vibrating lengthily. And sting? As compared to a mosquito bite, for instance? Well-ll-ll, no. Hurt? YES!
'Sharps' have a habit of doing that.