Welcome to the first edition of Fiction Friday!
So glad you’re here. It is my hope that many of you will join us by linking your fiction post. Please read many of the links and be generous in your comments.
Help us share the opportunity by grabbing a Fiction Friday Button and proudly displaying it on your blog. We’d also love a tweet or stumble or facebook share. Some of the most skilled, prolific writers are bloggers, so let’s help each other out. Thank You!
The rules are as follows:
- Write fiction.
- Provide a link back to my Fiction Friday post right here on The Domestic Fringe.
- Add your specific URL to the green Mr. Linky
- Read other blogger’s fiction and give some comment love.
- Throw caution to the wind and take a chance.
Remember: Each of the linked works of fiction are original (Including my own!). They are not to be borrowed, copied, or reprinted in any way. Thank you for respecting each author’s original writing.
“Know you what it is to be a child? It is to be something very different from the man of to-day. It is to have a spirit yet streaming from the waters of baptism; it is to believe in love, to believe in loveliness, to believe in belief; it is to be so little that the elves can reach to whisper in your ear; it is to turn pumpkins into coaches and mice into horses, lowness into loftiness, and nothing into everything, for each child has its fairy godmother in its own soul.”
~ Francis Thompson
“Stop that shaking girl. You’d think you were a newborn calf the way you’re quivering.” Hiram said poking his long wooden cane into Lacy’s left side.
“Now, get up and wipe that face. Nobody’d believe why a wisp like you is wetting the ground anyway.”
Reaching a small hand to the wall behind her, Lacy tried to stand on five year-old legs that wouldn’t hold her forty-three pound weight. She couldn’t look at Grampie Hirum. She doubted she could ever look at him again. Pain shot through her little body, breaking everything her simple mind thought was good.
The loose floorboard in the hall creaked, and Grampie spun just as Mimi Francine cracked open the door. One glance at Hirum’s face and Francine knew it happened again. She hurried past Hirum, knocking that old wooden cane from his hand, the cane he hewed from a hand felled log the year of his twelfth birthday. She knew nothing ailed his body, but his mind worried her, scared the hell out of her if she were honest, but now her eyes fixed on the crumpled heap in the corner next to their bed.
“Shh now Lacy.” Francine whispered putting an arm underneath Lacy’s small, bruised body. “I’ve got you now my baby. I’ll keep you from that nasty old coot.”
Throwing one arm around Mimi’s neck, she wiped at her wet face until she felt the skin rub raw. Lacy wanted to believe Mimi would watch over her, but she had the knowledge that comes with pain. She knew he’d get her sooner or later, no matter how tightly she clung to Mimi’s shirt. Hiding her eyes from his gaze, Lacy let Mimi run her from the room. She wouldn’t say anything. She never did, not since mama and daddy left two years ago. Mimi says they’re not coming back, says they’re in heaven looking down on me, but I don’t believe her. If they were looking down and seeing, they’d come get me and bring me home.
* * * * *
Spitting gravel and screeching like a night owl, Lacy turned her red Jeep Wrangler onto her grandparent’s road . She could already see the lights flashing just past the bend in the road. Her grandparents lived in town, if you could call Littlefield, Maine a town – population 2,014 with the only place of commerce being Mr. Donut on the corner of Main Street and Elm. Slamming her foot on the brake, Lacy swerved into the front yard behind one of the six squad cars guarding Francine Horender’s family home. The family left long ago, Lacy the last of them. After graduating first in her class at The Photography School, a division of The University of Maine in Orono, Lacy went as far as her photography portfolio took her, all the way to Manor Place, New York, a busy suburb of New York City swarming with families. Lacy loved the life she built on Long Island, taking pictures of children and their parents. Her favorite times were spent playing with the kids as she focused her camera on their bright eyes. The parent’s loved the laughing shots, moments of innocent childhood preserved.
Forcing her door open with one foot, Lacy jumped out of the Wrangler in an instant run. Marked and unmarked police cars littered the front yard, and she recognized her brother’s Police Chief vehicle parked right up near the shed. Lacy hit the porch just as a short, visibly shaken officer turned towards her with outstretched hands, ready to back her down the steps.
“Mason!” She screamed in hysteria.
“Mason, I’m here.”
Turning back to the officer blocking the door, Lacy’s eyes blackened with a hate churning since before she could read. “She’s my grandmother!” She spit out. Pushing the officer aside, Lacy marched into the house she knew too well.
Nothing ever changed in Mimi’s house. Lacy counted on the sameness – dimly lighted lamps – giant roses in once pink wallpaper now faded to the gray/brown of age – a lumpy gold couch that pulled unsuspecting visitors into its scratchy gold fabric and sat them too near the floor – the smell of Jean Nate – fried bacon. Mimi only fried bacon on Sunday mornings, but she used the grease to cook everything from green beans to potatoes. A mug of bacon grease set atop the stove – sameness. Now a different sameness greeted Lacy. Six officers, Littlefield’s finest, command Mimi’s house, turning 164 Mabry Corner into ground zero.
Faded cabbage roses begin to spin just as Mason, using every bit of his six-foot-two frame, pulls Lacy from her swirl of near hysteria. The bubble of air she unconsciously held burped with a little whoosh as Lacy crushed into her brother, the sharp edge of bright gold badge nearly puncturing the skin under her left eye. Silent tears wet Mason’s badge, a christening of life hereafter.
Pushing Lacy a breath away, Mason said, “You got here so quickly. I didn’t expect you for another hour. You could’ve killed yourself driving so recklessly.”
“One of your boys picked me up in Kittery, gave me the grand escort, complete with flashing lights and siren.” Lacy gulped out between sniffs, trying to suck everything back in – back to the way it had been for the last ten years since Hirum died. Lacy didn’t shed a tear then, not even when she had to identify Hirum’s body mangled in the big snow machine accident of 2001. Grampie, so sure he’d meet his death defending the family homestead against starving Y2K looters, filled the basement with enough cans of corn and baked beans for eight people to live on a year. He lived 1999 convinced of the necessity to die protecting his property. He killed innocence, but would give his life for forty acres of gravelly soil. Hirum never considered his nasty heart and repulsive sins might land him in the lethal tangle of snowmobile and pine. The day Hirum died Lacy freely walked from one reviling grip to another, only this new grip was worse. A girl never escapes the grasp of her own mind.
“Look Lace, you don’t have to do this. No one expects it of you. She’s so much worse than I even told you. Just wait outside” Mason tried to warn her.
Craning her neck, Lacy looked around the door, through the hall, and into the kitchen. She could only see the hutch that held her great grandmother’s flowery china, setting for sixteen minus the serving bowl she broke the Thanksgiving before her twelfth birthday. Even on the dark stained oak she could see red. Sticky dark drips oozed their way to a puddle on the gold-fleck linoleum.
Blood – floor – cabbage roses – Mason – blood – the room spun as Lacy’s face hit the badge for a second time that morning, this time breaking skin. “Lace! Are you OK?” Mason said, gently shaking her shoulders.
“Ray, get Tony in here now! Lacy isn’t holding up.”
Mason carried Lacy, dragging her legs behind them, to the couch and laid her down. The scratchy gold sucked her in while she fought the pull of blackness. Lacy was not strong enough. I’ve never been strong, she thought, giving in to endless night.
Now it’s your turn!
Please click on the green Mr. Linky, add your name and specific URL, then visit others.
Thank you for joining our first edition of Fiction Friday.
I promise to read everyone’s links. It may take me all weekend, but I’ll get to yours! I can’t wait.