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Monday, April 13, 2009

Dried Mud

Photo by Brett Trafford
visit his site 365 to 42 for more beautiful photographs.
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Suggested Prompt...
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It was like dry mud...



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It was like dried mud. The little flower jar that she was forming on her pottery wheel, just would not cooperate and her time was limited. She wanted with all of her heart to finish this before the time came. She glanced out the window at the flowers and thought about her mother. She remembered those days when they’d planted the garden together, on their knees and laughing.

The thoughts of gardening with her mother and this dried mud of a vase reminded her of the day they argued with nature. The two of them, determined to plant the flowers in that ground; regardless of nature’s timing. It wasn’t dried mud that day, no; it was more like swamp water in the garden.

They didn’t need any tools, but only their bare hands because it was so muddy. Together, they built that garden and the flowers grew beautifully; as did their relationship. That was almost ten years ago. She was only five then, now a young lady; trying with every bit of desire to retain those good memories.

She realized that the vase wouldn’t form, was drying up, because she just couldn’t concentrate on keeping it together. Quickly, she focused on completing this creation but she just wasn’t satisfied with it. She set it on the shelf to dry.

The sun was shining so beautifully outside, on this crisp summer morning; leading her to the garden, she picked a few of her mother’s favorite flowers. That was the reason she was making the vase, but unsatisfied with it, she grabbed one from the kitchen and placed the flowers inside. The phone rang and she heard her father talking to someone, he sounded frustrated and angry but she couldn’t hear his words. He talked so quietly. She knew that he was hiding this conversation from her.

Her dad came into the room and told her that they should go visit her mother earlier today than they usually do. The drive is two hours long to get there and they’d have to get moving. Deep in thought for most of the ride, she realized that they were almost there and she’d forgotten the flowers on the counter in the kitchen. She had nothing to bring to her mother and it hurt her inside. She always brought something; always wanting to see her mother’s bright eyes smiling, and this time she had nothing to bring.

Upon entering the room, her mother sat up and the look on her face was different than usual, brighter than any other time. She didn’t understand why her mother looked so happy, so content…almost as if she’d brought her the gift with the vase that she intended on bringing. Her mother said, “Honey, you are so beautiful. Seeing you here right now makes my heart smile. Today is the day, my dear daughter.” “Today is what day, mom? What are you talking about? Are you coming home?” she asked. “No, honey; but I am going home today.”

When her mother said those words, she knew what was meant. It’d been five years as her mother battled with this cancer, five years longer than anyone expected. She didn’t know how to feel, what to think or even how to respond. Her eyes began tearing up and her mother wiped away the tears. “Honey, I know you’ll miss me; but you can trust that I’ll remain with you all of your days. We share the same spirit and you know how to listen, don’t you? You’ve shown me that all of your life, sweetheart. You’ve always had a wise soul. Don’t be sad, you know where I’m going.”

A few hours later, as they all sat in the room together; it filled with a warm radiance and her mother breathed these words to them, one last time…she said, “I love you”.

~ Simply Heather

Read Heather's conclusion of this powerful story on Tuesday's prompt... The Urn.

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5 comments:

Faith said...

It was like dried mud, but she was still pleased. This was the first time that Paige had cooked anything and didn't set off the smoke detector. These dried, over-cooked brownies were a milestone. She was finally learning a (very) little about cooking and baking.

Paige had made the brownies for her crush in Algebra class. She had really wanted to impress him because her big rival was closing in fast.

Everyone knew the way to a boy's heart was through his stomach, and at this rate Paige would never have a boyfriend. Betsy won all the blue ribbons in cooking at the county fair. Their home-ec teacher always praised Betsy's work to everyone. Paige, on the other hand, had caused the school to be evacuated on two horrific baking days.

The home-ec class sarcastically started clapping and cheering for Paige. Their laughter only strengthened her. When the bell rang, she picked up her brownies and headed to Algebra.

Jeff smelled the chocolate and turned around. "You got brownies in there?"

Paige removed the foil and displayed her brownies. "Yeah. Brownies. Want one?"

Jeff smiled. "Dry, just like I like 'em!! I hate when their gooey. Get all stuck in my teeth and throat. Man, girl! You sure can cook!!"

Paige turned around and smiled at the seething Betsy. She turned back and smiled sweetly at Jeff. "Want another?"

I.N.Kwell said...

It was like dry mud, the congealed, cracked blood streching down his arm. Sarah scrubbed it away until she found the real wound. It was small but deep, and the shrapnel was definetly still inside.
"We'll have to dig it out tonight," She told her friend, Marta, who had been cleaning the soldier's face. "With the ground shaking this much, I don't want to poke the wrong thing." Mart nodded and handed over a strip of fabric to tie around the wound.
Somewhere above them a mortar screamed and crashed into the ground, nearer than before. Marta looked to the heavens. Whether she was praying, or checking the basement ceiling, Sarah couldn't tell. She found herself clutching the soldier's hand, despite the fact he was unconscience. Or was he?
The man groaned and turned his head, "Patrick?" Sarah asked, reaching for some water, "You are Patrick O'Connor, American, yes?" For a moment Patrick wondered how she knew his name. But he felt the cold dog tags slip from his shirt to his chest, "Yeah, where's Danny? He was right next to me a second ago." He tried to sit up but Sarah put a hand on his chest. "Your hand, the bones are- are broke, yes." She tried to give him the water but he pushed it away.
"Danny- Danny Mathers. Blonde hair, had a ring on his finger. Shoulda been right next to me. Where is he?" he demanded. Sarah couldn't look at him. She pulled Danny's ring from her dress pocket. "I very sorry Mr. O'Conner. He your friend, no?" She put the ring in his hand. Patrick looked at it for a moment. It didn't look like the same ring when it wasn't on his friend's hand, and there was blood in the engraving. He threw it across the cellar and put his hands over his face.
Later, Sarah retrieved the ring. When Patrick had been injected with enough morphine to perform the surgery, she slipped it on his finger, thinking he would hardly feel it. But she saw him rub the ring, and twist it around his finger. The skin was dry like mud and the ring was too tight. Tiny lines of Patrick's blood found their way into the grooves, right next to Danny's.

Simply Heather said...

Okay, Laura Jayne. This might hurt to read, but I still have to post it...because it comes from my heart.

It coincides with Dan's photo of the Urn above. This is the beginning of the story...and you'll find the rest of it in the posting titled The Urn above.



It was like dried mud. The little flower jar that she was forming on her pottery wheel, just would not cooperate and her time was limited. She wanted with all of her heart to finish this before the time came. She glanced out the window at the flowers and thought about her mother. She remembered those days when they’d planted the garden together, on their knees and laughing.

The thoughts of gardening with her mother and this dried mud of a vase reminded her of the day they argued with nature. The two of them, determined to plant the flowers in that ground; regardless of nature’s timing. It wasn’t dried mud that day, no; it was more like swamp water in the garden.

They didn’t need any tools, but only their bare hands because it was so muddy. Together, they built that garden and the flowers grew beautifully; as did their relationship. That was almost ten years ago. She was only five then, now a young lady; trying with every bit of desire to retain those good memories.

She realized that the vase wouldn’t form, was drying up, because she just couldn’t concentrate on keeping it together. Quickly, she focused on completing this creation but she just wasn’t satisfied with it. She set it on the shelf to dry.

The sun was shining so beautifully outside, on this crisp summer morning; leading her to the garden, she picked a few of her mother’s favorite flowers. That was the reason she was making the vase, but unsatisfied with it, she grabbed one from the kitchen and placed the flowers inside. The phone rang and she heard her father talking to someone, he sounded frustrated and angry but she couldn’t hear his words. He talked so quietly. She knew that he was hiding this conversation from her.

Her dad came into the room and told her that they should go visit her mother earlier today than they usually do. The drive is two hours long to get there and they’d have to get moving. Deep in thought for most of the ride, she realized that they were almost there and she’d forgotten the flowers on the counter in the kitchen. She had nothing to bring to her mother and it hurt her inside. She always brought something; always wanting to see her mother’s bright eyes smiling, and this time she had nothing to bring.

Upon entering the room, her mother sat up and the look on her face was different than usual, brighter than any other time. She didn’t understand why her mother looked so happy, so content…almost as if she’d brought her the gift with the vase that she intended on bringing. Her mother said, “Honey, you are so beautiful. Seeing you here right now makes my heart smile. Today is the day, my dear daughter.” “Today is what day, mom? What are you talking about? Are you coming home?” she asked. “No, honey; but I am going home today.”

When her mother said those words, she knew what was meant. It’d been five years as her mother battled with this cancer, five years longer than anyone expected. She didn’t know how to feel, what to think or even how to respond. Her eyes began tearing up and her mother wiped away the tears. “Honey, I know you’ll miss me; but you can trust that I’ll remain with you all of your days. We share the same spirit and you know how to listen, don’t you? You’ve shown me that all of your life, sweetheart. You’ve always had a wise soul. Don’t be sad, you know where I’m going.”

A few hours later, as they all sat in the room together; it filled with a warm radiance and her mother breathed these words to them, one last time…she said, “I love you”.

~ Denise ~ said...

Her skin was so weathered that it was eerily similar to that of dried mud. Her eyes seemed to pierce through me as I glanced at her. I had so many questions for her but the way her jaw was set made it perfectly clear that she chose to be unapproachable.

But, I couldn't help but wonder what her skin was like when she was younger? Did her tears frequently moisten the surface back then keeping the texture soft and supple?

And, if that's the case, I wanted to ask her even more ... why has the bitterness rooted out your tears and left you, like your skin, damaged and painfully thirsty?

Simply Heather said...

An honor, LJ - thank you. So true to those feelings within me, it flowed easily once I began writing....