Other stories for this prompt

Sen evindeyken bazı şeyler oldu, bilmezsin. nerden bileceksin. Evindeydin. sıcacık yuvan. sana ait her şeyiyle. belki beyaz duvarları var. belki bahçesi. çıkınca sarınırsın battaniyene. Öyle güzel öyle sıcak bir ev. ben yapamadım canım benim evimi bulamadım ben. bilir misin evsizlik ne demek. çiçeklerini koyacak bir camın önü bile yoktur. açar çiçeklerin evet ama yollarda kaybolur gider sonra. zamanla solar. dayanamaz göçebbeliğe. göçebelik zordur yavrucuğum. sen bilir misin. belki sen de uzun göçlerden sonra geldin ve o evi buldun. o evle hemhal oldun. evim kendimmiş diyor ebrar. gerçekten öyle mi? gerçekten evimiz kendimiz mi. içimiz en büyük şansımız diyor biri de....

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He hung his shirt up on the clothesline before he left. He told me he was going fishing, and I said okay, and gave a bucket with sandwiches wrapped in gingham cloth, and lemonade in a mason jar, and even two chocolate chip cookies. He had the bucket and his pole,and I saw him meet our neighbor down the road, watched them shake hands.

And then I went inside, and knitted another pair of baby booties, and refolded the stacks of little clothes in the dresser. Any day now.

But our neighbor came back later that day alone, and distraught....

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I still washed his shirt. There was only his plaid shirt, because it was what he'd worn. But I still washed it. My son disappeared a few years ago. They found his body by the lake. He was wearing that old plaid shirt. The rest of his clothes I gave to my nephew, about his size. But that plaid short...I'd never give that to anyone. It was his, it was all I had left. The plaid shirt. His room was in perfect condition, but it didn't seem right. But his shirt in my soft-from-washing-so-many-dishes hands. It felt like everything was...

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I hated seeing the shirt on the washing line in front of the Harrison's home. Didn't anyone tell them about the murder? Donny Cartwright had a shirt just like that one when he was found in the front garden of that house six years back. Unsolved.

I used to work for the Cartwrights, they sold up and moved after the tragedy. Heard that Mrs C died of a broken heart. Donny her youngest still lived at home, a momma's boy. Heart of gold. Slow. Wouldn't hurt a fly.

Such a shame what happened to him. If he hadn't been looking...

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There were times like that, where even if it was something relatively mundane, he could stare long and hard at it and still have no clue what it was. Sometimes it worried him. One, it meant his vision was probably steadily worsening. Two, that he would imagine up something else in the place of an everyday object did not bode well for arguing his sanity. On the other hand, he could just say that meant he was ten-fold more creative than the average person.

A lot of the times he managed to draw up something quite unsettling though, and it...

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Half a life lived
within four walls
the once unthinkable
now familiar
with endless routine
a strange comfort
a life reset every day to run
the same sweep of hours

One small act
stealing from my future
thinking to be happy
realizing too late
the mistake
giving hostages
to my good behavior

Moments of quiet
hours of noise
time in the yard
never solitary
taking comfort
in the dark
giving in
the dark

Twenty years
one more small act
now here I am
outside those walls
a life lived as half a whole
now to be lived

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he forgot his jacket.
it hangs on the line, like a ghost.
(like the ghost of last night)
i can see it outside my kitchen window
as i wash out our wine glasses.
it's a plaid puff of smoke.
(reds and blacks and whites
the colors of a genie's lamp)
he left for illinois or indiana
or maybe idaho, and he won't be back,
(or so he says)
but the mornings are chilling
and i might wear it on a walk
with our dog.

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Their lives were not timelines, but many intertwining threads, stopping and starting on a whim. Every moment could be a start or an end, a little birth or a little death; it happened when they woke up, after orgasm, in the park or in the rain -- a sudden reconfiguration of the world, a reinterpretation of their thoughts and feelings into something completely new. They had personalities made of Lego bricks, and they loved it.

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It was his favourite shirt. But in the rush to leave, it had been forgotten on the line. She stared at it every day from her window. Today it was an especially bitter reminder as she stood at the window, mixing up a batch of cookies.

The cookies were for her son's funeral. The son who had worn that shirt day in, day out, until the day he left. The son who had climbed that tree as a boy, played hide and seek in that yard. The teenager who brought girls home to kiss behind the big tree when he...

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I could hear it whipping in the wind outside my bedroom; his coat that was left on the laundry line to hang dry. You can't leave clothes out on a line when it's winter in New York; 'specially the mountains. The cuffs and the buttons froze when I finally had the courage to get it. A crow sat on the line right by it and cawed when I went to release the jacket from the clothespins.

I brought it into my mama, who told me he aint' never comin' back to Saranac. It's sad, you know, that he left her....

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About the prompt

Originally displayed on:
February 14, 2011


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