Monday’s Muse: Writing Prompt for 09/14

Monday’s Muse: Writing Prompt for September 14

I am joining in with the super-creative Candice Coates for her Monday’s Muse.  She provides a photo and an opening line on Monday, then posts her results on her blog on Thursday.  Guidelines on how to join in are at the bottom.  (The opening line provided is in bold).

The pictures were old, foreign and yet somehow familiar even though he couldn’t quite place them. Somewhere hidden within his spirit he knew he had taken them.

It wasn’t just deja vu, it felt much stronger than that, but yet the mental image was foggy.  My grandfather left me a huge box full of stuff, and the pictures were right on the top.  How could I not look in the box, when scribbled on its lid in his chicken scratch it read, ‘the truth lies within.’

My grandfather always told stories, he had such an imagination, we always thought his stories were just to entertain us, never knowing if they were true or not, or if it was the mutterings of too much vodka and longing for home.  But now as I looked as these photographs bits and pieces of those stories warred with hazy images, and I’m not so sure what is actually real.

I remember Him and his brother would spend hours playing cards, with a bottle of vodka perched in the middle of the table to be shared between them.  They basically grew up on the stuff, so I doubt it did anything to their senses, as it would to a person not accustomed to such hard drink.  Once the bottle was empty they would sit and quietly talk between them, speaking only in Polish so no one would understand them.  I rarely heard the foreign language, it was just how it was, once your feet grazed the shores of American soil, you left your old life behind, and painstakingly learned the English language, never indulging in your foreign tongue…unless your soul held secrets.

As I sifted through the box, the last thing I found was some sort of journal, in my grandfather’s handwriting.  When I opened it, a newspaper article fell from within the pages.  It was in Polish, so I could not understand what it was about.  But the journal read:

My dear grandson, you must have many questions.  I do not know if the photographs are familiar to you, but they are the reason we are in America.  As a young man, you had no fear, and you took these photographs in secret.  You did not think anyone would ever find out about them, but certain people did.

I did not have to read any further, because the images and the memories all came flooding back.  The two men that came and found me, and demanded I give them the photographs, I refused.  That’s when I could feel the pain from each blow that I took from these men, and the final jolt of pain in my head when it struck the concrete once I fell to the ground.  At that point I was fading in and out of consciousness.  I saw another large figure come upon one of the men, I’m not sure what happened, but he dropped to the ground lifeless, the other man ran away as fast as he could.  I could hear voices, but couldn’t understand what they were saying.

I continued reading in the journal.  Your head injuries were severe, the doctor said that you would not remember anything.  My father told me to take you to America, where my brother already was.  When we entered at Ellis Island, it was as if we were given a new identity.  When we gave them our names, the person recording our names in the manifest spelled it the way they thought it would sound in English, they were known to sometimes even add a few extra letters for good measure.  The Polish language has it’s own alphabet, so the American translation did not resemble the way it was spelled in Poland.  It was the perfect opportunity for you and I to start a new life, and never be found.

I stopped reading, even though there was more.  I wasn’t sure I wanted to know more at this moment.  My head hurt, and this was a lot of information to process.  Because of me, my grandfather killed a man.  The only thing running through my head at the moment was why hadn’t the truth died along with him?

© 2015 Carrie Ann

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Join Monday’s Muse:

• Using the opening line and the picture provided, (Or one of your own choosing) create a story (or even a poem) within 15 to 20 minutes.

• Once you have finished your super awesome masterpiece, add your story’s link in the comments section here, for others to read.

• Also include a link on your page back to this original post for others to follow along and write with as well. In your “tags” section, add the tag “Monday’s Muse.”

 

Monday’s Muse: Writing Prompt for 07/20

Monday’s Muse: Writing Prompt for July 20

I am joining in with the super-creative Candice Coates for her Monday’s Muse.  She provides a photo and an opening line on Monday, then posts her results on her blog on Thursday.  Guidelines on how to join in are at the bottom.  (The opening line provided is in bold).

My Peaceful Sanctuary

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“It’s a simple room, but it will be perfect for what you need.” Their warm hand rested upon my shoulder, giving it a gentle squeeze.  That’s exactly what I needed right now…simple.

Ruth was such a friendly person.  She was asking me all kinds of questions about myself, not trying to be nosy, but genuinely interested. I hoped she believed what I was telling her, because I was trying to convince myself.  I heard the words I was saying, but they were foreign to me.  I guess over time that would become easier.  I was still the same person, only the facts had changed, the ones you see on paper.  Ruth continued to talk and tell me about herself.  She had such gentleness in her eyes.  It was as if she could look deep down into my soul and knew exactly what I was guarding in my heart.  She gave me the keys to the room, and with a welcoming hug, she said, “If you need anything dear, don’t hesitate to ask.”

As I stood in the middle of the room, I hugged myself tightly, not because I was cold, but because I was trying to contain the emotion that was trying to overtake me.  I could finally breathe easy.  Allowing me to rent this room for practically next to nothing, was more than I could have dreamed of.  This place would become my sanctuary, where I could lose myself in my painting, to awaken my creativity that lay dormant for so many years.  I rented a small cottage on the other side of the woods that adjoined both properties.  The daily walks on the trail with the peacefulness of nature, the fresh air, and the transcendent beauty would lend itself for inspiration.  Yes, it was perfect, exactly what I needed…I needed a place where I could lose myself in my art…I needed the peace and solitude…I needed to heal.

Because no one, ever, left my husband’s family and lived…until now.

 

© 2015 Carrie Ann

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Join Monday’s Muse:

• Using the opening line and the picture provided, (Or one of your own choosing) create a story (or even a poem) within 15 to 20 minutes.

• Once you have finished your super awesome masterpiece, add your story’s link in the comments section here, for others to read.

• Also include a link on your page back to this original post for others to follow along and write with as well. In your “tags” section, add the tag “Monday’s Muse.”

 

 

 

 

Monday’s Muse: Writing Prompt 07/06

Monday’s Muse: Writing Prompt July 6

I am joining in with the super-creative Candice Coates for her Monday’s Muse.  She provides a photo and an opening line on Monday, then posts her results on her blog on Thursday.  Guidelines on how to join in are at the bottom.  (The opening line provided is in bold).  I need a class on how to come up with a good title, it’s usually the last thing I come up with, and unfortunately, I don’t have one for this.   So just dive right in.  🙂

 

The walls to their borders were strong, but not so much so that they couldn’t break through them.  But no one would dare, because they would have to face the almighty Emperor who governed this land.  This Emperor happens to be my father.  I can’t help but wonder what was he thinking when he built these walls around our beautiful land and home.  He always warned us about the “others from the outside world” and how dangerous it was to fraternize with such common people.  Times were changing, but he could not.  Well he may be able to put up physical walls, but I would not allow walls to go up around my heart or in my mind to keep me from dreaming about what if.  As I sit out near the water atop the furthest tower, I can see the fishermen come inland.  I pretend to read a book, but every so often I catch a glimpse of the one that they call Jacob.  As he works diligently to empty the boats of the daily catch, and collect their reward for such hard work.  They only provide us with the best of what they catch; what is only fit for nobility.  I can’t help but think that one day soon I’ll be eating the delectable food from the sea that has been ensnared by such a beautiful human named Jacob.  My daydreams are filled with what it would be like to live such a normal life, where one does not have to keep up appearances and always do and say the right things…a life with a man such as Jacob.

This was the excerpt that Madison read from the journal she found in the old mansion her father purchased as a summer home.  The first page had the words “Musings of Madeline” penned on the middle of the page.  It was very old, Madison could tell by the loops and flourishes that graced the yellowed parchment paper.  She had never seen such artistry and passion in handwriting before.  It wasn’t only that, it was how the words spoke to her as she read them.  Madeline could have been describing her life.  Granted she didn’t have physical walls built around her.  No. What she did have were the invisible walls that her father constructed around her with his words; constantly reminding her of what her purpose in life was, never taking into account her ambitions.  Just assuming she would follow in his footsteps, taking over the million-dollar corporation he built to pass down to his children.  Always reminding her of what was socially acceptable…how she should dress, where she should go…after all they had an image to uphold.  Pointing out that she needed to marry well, social status and net worth were all that matter, not foolish things like compatibility, desire…or god forbid…love.

As Madison continued to read the journal, how she wished Madeline could see the land today.  The walls were nearly gone, save the few that withstood the wind and waves.  One lone tower was still intact, where she herself spent time reading this journal, and realizing it could quite possibly be the same tower Madeline sat in.  Madison hoped that the journal would reveal to her how Madeline escaped the walls…so that one day, maybe she could too.

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Join Monday’s Muse:

• Using the opening line and the picture provided, (Or one of your own choosing) create a story (or even a poem) within 15 to 20 minutes.

• Once you have finished your super awesome masterpiece, add your story’s link in the comments section here, for others to read.

• Also include a link on your page back to this original post for others to follow along and write with as well. In your “tags” section, add the tag “Monday’s Muse.”

 

© 2015 Carrie Ann

 

 

Monday’s Muse: Writing Prompt 06/29

Monday’s Muse: Writing Prompt June 29th

I am joining in with the super-creative Candice Coates for her Monday’s Muse.  She provides a photo and an opening line on Monday, then posts her results on her blog on Thursday.  Just a few simple rules to follow:

• Using the opening line and the picture provided, (Or one of your own choosing) create a story (or even a poem) within 15 to 20 minutes.

• Once you have finished your super awesome masterpiece, add your story’s link in the comments section here, for others to read.

• Also include a link on your page back to this original post for others to follow along and write with as well. In your “tags” section, add the tag “Monday’s Muse.”

I find time constraints difficult, but I did try not to go too far past the 20 minute mark.

The door whispered on its hinges as her fingers gently pushed it open, her stomach leaping as the light from the window washed over the scene inside the room.  

It was completely empty.  She had forgotten just how much sunlight poured into this room at this time of day.  The rest of the house was dimly lit and in need of updating and repair.  Once she stepped over the threshold, it was as if all the memories that were contained within these walls came out to greet her.

As she closed her eyes she could hear the joyful laughter of the little girl playing with her Fischer Price schoolhouse, or the conversations between Barbie Dolls.  She could hear music playing; it was the one constant in here, only the tempo and rhythm changing to fit the mood or the time.  She heard telephone conversations that left her broken hearted, and a lifelong memory of first love lost.  She felt the soft, fluffy fur of the golden retriever nuzzled against her, enveloping her with unconditional love as his cool, wet, nose brushed against her cheek as he licked away her tears.  She heard giggles and squeals of teenage girls, and felt the affect of sleepless nights as hopes and dreams were shared until the sun came up.  She felt the warm embrace and heard the encouraging words, “don’t let anyone dull your sparkle…believe in yourself…you can do anything you set your mind to.”  These words spoken in love always eliminated any disappointment she felt within herself.  This is what snapped her out of her reverie.  She could do this.

She walked out of the house to the front porch and told the realtor, “I’ll take it.”

“Excellent.  It has a lot of potential, and with a little TLC it can be a beautiful place you can call home.” The realtor said with her well-trained enthusiasm.

With a wistful smile, I nodded in agreement and said, “I already do.”