Hello Readers, Writers, and Friends,
It’s been a minute, I know.
Between Easter, sickness, new meds, old meds, and general entropy life has been somewhat chaotic around here of late. I am not complaining. Just letting all of you lovely readers know that I have not forgotten you. I just didn’t have the wherewithal to sit down and make words appear. At least not here on the blog.
I do creep ever closer to being finished with my current work in progress. 16-20k to go, or there’s about which is a couple months worth of writing so, June? Maybe?
And an announcement!
I will be teaching a class on using short fiction and writing exercises to improve your craft at the American Night Writers’ Associations writer’s conference in September! This conference has pitch sessions with agents and editors, hands on workshops, even an evening (Middle-Earth themed) gala!! And get this, the keynote speaker is none other than the fabulous Charlie N. Holmberg! (seriously, if you haven’t read Smoke and Summons go do so now) If you are anywhere in the ballpark of Arizona, or can be, come September I highly recommend it. Registration opens in May so be on the watch for it.
And now for the fiction!
This week’s prompts are: a spoon, a mouse, a widow
Winston was not the kind of mouse who left droppings in the kitchen or frightened the maid. Winston was the sort of mouse who always cleaned his whiskers, tidied his cheese crumbs after he ate, and snuffed the candle out if the lady of the house accidentally left it burning too long.
Of all that Winston possessed, and it wasn’t very much mind you, his favorite treasure was a genuine silver spoon. It served a basin for washing when it lay on the floor, a soup pot when placed over the nub of a candle, and as a rocking chair when Winston wanted to relax in the evenings. He would bundle himself in the little scrap of flannel he had snatched from the ragbag, and sit in his fine silver chair, rocking back and forth, humming happily to himself.
It was in just this contented state thane evening Winston’s calm was interrupted by the lad of the house’s sobbing. Her good friend, the lady next door, was proffering a handkerchief and little other comfort. Winston realized as he listened that the man of the house had passed away. Little as the man had ever been there, Winston knew little of him, but he felt for the lady. She was the sweet, absent minded sort. She left bits of pastry sitting out after breakfast, and tea cakes in the afternoon. She was rarely cross with the kitchen maids. She never insisted on setting traps, or worse, gassing the house for pests.
The few times he thought she might have spied him she simply said, “Ah, our dear little friend.”
Yes, Winston liked her very much. And was sad to see her so distraught. He swished his tail, wondering what if anything he might do to aid her in her time of trial.
“What am I to do?” he heard her tell Ms. Next-Door. “We own the house outright, but how am I to manage with no money? I shall have to sell it, and do so love it here.”
The ladies chatted on about the money woes the master of the house had left behind him, coming up with a few small solutions that would ease her tribulation in the meantime, but nothing longterm.
“What about your good silver? That would fetch a good price,” her friend suggested.
“It would,” the lady replied, “But it isn’t complete. It’s missing a spoon.”
Winston’s ears twitched. His nose twitched. His whiskers twitched.
His spoon. His lovely washing, rocking, soup spoon. It wasn’t really his after all. And though it broke his mousy little heart, he knew what he must do.
When all was quiet that night, except for the lady’s quiet tears as she went up to bed, Winston crept from his cozy little hole dragging a freshly cleaned spoon behind him.
When the lady came down the next day, puffy eyed and weary from a night of mourning, to her great astonishment there on the table sat her missing spoon, only a little tarnished, with a note that read, “With much love, from your little friend.”
I hope you enjoyed our little story today. I hope you take a few minutes to use the prompts in whatever creative manner you like. And I hope you follow Winston’s example and do something selfless for someone else. Until next time!