C’est La Vie

The city is awake now, and the tourists will be filing in soon.


Sitting on the café patio, I appreciated the colorful umbrellas keeping me dry on this rainy morning. I lifted some fruit at the market to take home for mother when she wakes. She is ill but strong.

The city is awake now, and the tourists will be filing in soon. An unsuspecting crowd is an easy target and a rainy day is a blessing. Their wallets ride loosely in the pockets of raincoats, tossed in carelessly as an afterthought guided by their grumbling stomachs.

I casually join the crowd bumping into some, quickly slipping my hand into pockets and gathering my bounty. I apologize and mean it sincerely.

– Written for Microcosms 19 weekly contest. Related to National Tourism Day with prompts pickpocket/Paris/drama. WC 108. Photo from Pixabay.com. C’est La Vie was named runner-up in this contest.


In my hesitation, I left myself vulnerable.

That was the dumbest assassin she’d ever seen.

I crawled silently across the snowy terrain with my sniper rifle in tow. I heard my target and halted. There she was, looking almost innocent as she foraged for food. My presence unknown, she let her guard down and advanced into the clearing. Now was my chance. I aimed for her head. This villainous traitor would not escape punishment.

Before entering the clearing, she was well aware of the would-be assassin’s location. He had been tracking her from upwind and neglected to take into account her allies.

I wondered for a moment if I should make this execution swift, or if I would find it more satisfying to toy with her before ending this betrayer.

In my hesitation, I left myself vulnerable. A barrage of acorns dropping like missiles followed loud squawking accompanied by frantic wing flaps to my head. I dropped my rifle and scrambled back into the cover of the forest.

I calmed my breathing and peeked out from under a fallen tree to see the winged co-conspirators high-five her furry little mouse paw. I hissed, and my ears twitched uncontrollably.

I growled and cursed them loudly. “I will get you yet, rodent! Your fowl friends won’t always be here to protect you.”

“Arrogant feline!” She shouted. “When will you accept that you cannot win this cat-and-mouse game?”

– Written for Cracked Flash: Year 1, Week 40, Photo and first sentence prompt, “That was the dumbest assassin she’d ever seen.” WC 228.

Social Combat

Dodging insults hurled like bullets
Willing myself to be invisible
Sticking to the perimeter behind enemy lines
Ducking into the nearest open classroom door like diving into a foxhole
Camouflaging myself in groups of teachers to avoid the assailants
Watching the time counting down as I finally join my allies
My comrades and I have strength in numbers
Navigating middle school is like fighting a daily battle
My social life is on the line

– Written for WordPress Blogging University, Intro to Poetry, Day 4: Journey, Simile. Photo by Richard Caton Woodville, Jr., from Wikipedia.


Family by choice, in spite of repeated objection,
Risk of rejection.
Innocent love, in light of dejection,
Endeavors to remain true.
Never apart by heart from you.
Devoted friends and lovers by
Soul’s selection.

– Written for WordPress Blogging University, Intro to Poetry, Day 3: Friend, Acrostic.


At first, I waited in the darkness for death to come. Then a glint of light compelled me to struggle. Some unknown force pulled me out of my peaceful surrender. I longed to be free. I writhed and wriggled until my entrapment gave way. My coruscant wings unfurled in the morning sun.

– Written for Grammar Ghoul Press Shapeshifting 13 #52. Word prompts were “force” & “coruscant.” WC 52. Photo from Wikipedia.


Horse Haven

His absence was a heavy blanket over the ranch.

Elliot removed Bullet’s saddle and said, “I know it’s been a while since you’ve ridden. You did well today. Your uncle would’ve liked to see you and Bullet together again.”

I looked at the horse standing a few feet away, twitching its ears at me. “Bullet is getting old. You plan to retire him soon?” I asked.

“Yeah, Deke and I chatted about that before…well, not too long ago.” He glanced at me, pained.

“Just more unfinished business.” I half-smiled and patted Elliot on the back. “I’ll brush Bullet. You go on inside and wash up.” I offered.

Uncle Deke was a loud, boisterous man, the life of Horse Haven. He built it from the ground up, on his back with sweat and blood. His absence was a heavy blanket over the ranch. The sky was gray since his passing, and even the animals were mourning. I talked to Bullet as I lead him to the stables.

“You probably don’t remember when your mother passed, Bullet, but I do. I remember the day you were born ‘ole boy. Maggie gave her life for yours and mine.” He shook his head as if he understood. “She taught me about death and life. She gave me you.” I hugged him hard around his neck. “I’m sorry I haven’t been here lately.” He snorted, with annoyance, it seemed. Then he leaned into me returning my affection.

“I remember Deke holding me and letting me cry over Maggie till I ran out of tears. Then he showed me how to care for you, buddy.”

Deke told me to pay attention to what I was feeling, the sadness, the anger, and remember the love as well. He said he and Elliot felt that strongly for me and that I should take all of that and honor them and Maggie by living the best life I can while I can.

“It’s going to be tough without him, boy.” I let myself cry it out with my old friend. Bullet comforted me with gentle nudges. Even in my sadness, it felt good to be home.

After I showered, I joined Uncle Elliot in the kitchen to help finish making dinner. We sat together to eat and reminisce. A light rain began to fall, and the rhythmic pattering on the windowpane reminded me how exhausted I was.

I remembered Deke telling me about my parent’s car accident. Deke and Elliot raised me here on the ranch. Deke stepped up and took on the responsibility of his sister’s infant daughter. He told me I got my strong will from her, and my nurturing spirit from my dad and it just made sense that I should live with him, and help raise the horses.

I don’t know much else in life that does make sense.

I said goodnight to Elliot and reminded him that I was here to talk if he needed me, and went to my old room to get some sleep.

The morning sun woke me and melted away the remaining gray. A clear sky left me with an unbroken view of the Haven. The same view from my childhood.

I thanked Deke for everything and promised to honor him with the life I have left. Off in the distance, I saw a rainbow encircling the stables. I smiled as a tear slid down my cheek.

– Written for YeahWrite.me Fiction|Poetry weekly writing challenge #264. Prompt up sentence was “I looked at the horse standing a few feet away, twitching its ears at me.” WC 558. Photo from Pexels.com.