Story 14/52: Glacier Fagerström

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sun

PHOTO © R.D. GIRVAN 2018.  ‘Glacier Fagerström’ © R.D. GIRVAN 2018.

A muscled mass of grey feathers arrowed past Kai’s left ear through the open window and landed on the kitchen table. Flapping, the owl flounced around and stamped at him, claws clattering on the wood, like it owned the place.

Kai didn’t flinch. He remained in position upon his ladder. The owl was not his target. Shifting his gear, he shuffled on the metal rung, his boots whispering as they slid over the grooves. The ladder rasped against the wood siding, dug further into the layers of lead paint. They were like geologic cross-sections, the twin scars his ladder had scraped into that paint, blue atop yellow over white upon green. The place he had named ‘The House in the Woods’ had worn many colors.

The owl glared at him and then flew past one more time, something brown wriggling in his talons.

This Finnish December day would have 6.5 hours of sunlight. Kai had just spent the last four of them on his ladder looking through this family’s kitchen window. Waiting.

He shifted again, settling in for the day’s final 45 minutes. The wind made chimes out of the holes in the roof, shook rain droplets off pine boughs. Would tonight be the night he succeeded? He visualized them walking single-file through the kitchen, mother leading father in front of son. Silently, he promised them I’m gonna get you!

Warming his cold nose on his sleeve, he eased back into position, one eye closed, the other focused on the kitchen fireplace. He examined the red bricks through the sight, as he had most nights for the last four years, trigger finger resting at the ready.

One squirrel ran away from another along the eaves, the clicking of their knitting needle claws muffled by moss. The trees laid secrets upon swaying boughs and a broken pane of glass rattled in its frame. Another noise intruded, tweaking the tripwire of Kai’s consciousness: the scritching, scratching of his targets shuffling along the dusty kitchen floor. He waited until they were in perfect range. Finally!

Kai Fagerström used the trigger repeatedly, clicking and clicking, activating the remote-control shutter of his camera over and over, for the mother and for the father and for the son.

***

Hello Glorious Gang of Readers, Rhea here! This was a wee bit about Kai Fagerstrom, the award-winning Finnish photographer, and his work “The House in the Woods” based on how animals took over abandoned buildings. Working without a flash, waiting in position for hours at a time – over a four year period –  he captured absolutely amazing images. Best, RDG

Kai Fagerstrom The House in the Woods    Kai Fagerstrom blog

 

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‘Role Model’ picked up by STORGY Mag!

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So incredibly pleased to be published by the fantastic STORGY Magazine – again!

check them out:   Role Model in STORGY Magazine

 

storgy role model

Story 11/52: Spring Break

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iced chain link

Dick rubbed the surgical scar that scratched across his chest, straight and true.

Connie kept saying that said he should complete it with a tattoo. “Add some feathers and an arrowhead point,” she said, “like Cupid’s.”

Dick had said, “How do you come up with this shit? Why the hell would I do that?”

Their son Brad had crowed, “Mom, Dad doesn’t get the point!” and the two of them laughed over the stupid pun. Both kids had turned out weird, like her. Weird and weak.
Privately, though, Dick was already considering a tattoo. All the old guys were getting them, using morbid humour to whistle past their fears. Anything to appear in control. Calm, cool and collected, as they used to say in High School. Large and in charge. Chill.

His friend Joe had a tattoo of a zipper, teeth half-open around shiny scar tissue, marking where doctors would slice into his chest to access his pacemaker batteries.  Pretty cool. Not as good as the art Dick wanted, of a skeletal hand flipping the bird, but still cool. Of course, thanks to Connie, he never would receive the benefit of having his batteries replaced regularly with fresh, brand new models. He was stuck with these rechargeable ones. For the rest of his life.

***

Hello, Gang of Glorious Readers, Rhea here.

I am entering stories into contests, some of which do not allow any previous publication or posting of the entries of any kind, even on a blog.

If you would like to read the entire story, send me your email address and I will forward it to you. Also, I could add you to an email list of those who want the whole shebang automatically sent to their inbox. Unfortunately, you will never, ever, be able to unsubscribe from the email list, mwahahaha! Kidding, of course.

Best always, RDG

PS: Never!!!

 

 

Story 10/52: Malpractice

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honda (4)

Malpractice © 2018 R.D. Girvan

I bounced down that slope as though fleeing for my life, my car bottoming out on the hummock that split the deeply-etched driveway.

Frank had told me it was over two miles long, his road, and it hadn’t been plowed properly since the County had installed GPS trackers on their equipment and started charging folks for the grader. He wasn’t about to pay for crews to come out and take care of it.  It was their road.
If you looked on a map, you could see a little dotted line that cut clean across his property, and that was the County’s road allowance. They stopped maintaining it, he said, when he fenced in his entire section of land. He said they claimed he blocked their way and denied access to other residents. He said no one should be using the road anyhow, it led right past his house to the lake and Devil’s Lake had been in his family for generations. Sometimes, he sounded almost reasonable.

From the top of the hill, I could see that the gates were now shut, and as I bounced closer, something glinted sullenly in the tepid sunlight: fresh chain joining the two rusted cattle gates. I would have to ram them. In a Civic, no less.

***

Hello, Gang of Glorious Readers, Rhea here.

I am entering stories into contests, some of which do not allow any previous publication or posting of the entries of any kind, even on a blog.

If you would like to read the entire story, send me your email address and I will forward it to you. Also, I could add you to an email list of those who want the whole shebang automatically sent to their inbox. Unfortunately, you will never, ever, be able to unsubscribe from the email list, mwahahaha! Kidding, of course.

Best always, RDG

(Never!!!)

 

Powerful Work by Guest Writer Zakk Goertzen: Words are not Enough

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Zakk

©2018 Zakk Goertzen

Words Are Not Enough

Words are not enough to describe how I feel,
To always place second and never speel.
Over and over, silver I receive,
Never earning gold, it’s hard to believe.
Not going up or down but staying the same,
Only seeing myself as the one to blame.
Words can’t describe it, they can’t even start,
The feeling it stimulates just tears me apart.
Some people say that second is just the first loser,
Personally,
It feels like a fatal abuser.
There’s always someone that has been a bit better,
Each time, my soul feels a little deader.
Words are not enough to explain what’s in my head,
Every time I place second,
The pain I must dread.

Every time I place second,
The pain goes unsaid.

 

 

 

 

Story 9/52: Not Much to Look At

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yacht

Not Much to Look At: © R.D. Girvan

 

Patrick heard her coming, heels chocking on the weathered boards of the dock, long before he saw her. He adjusted the bumper on his rented yacht and went over to say ‘hello.’ This section of the Marina was only for owners; he was squatting. Could only help, to make a new friend.

“Hello,” he said, and introduced himself.

“Hi Patrick,” she said, setting down a heavy bag to shake his hand. “I’m Michelle.”

Patrick had heard that the Michelle Colmstock moored down this end. Was it possible that this was her? The Member of the Marina’s Board Michelle, the owner’s sister Michelle, the youngest heir of the Stockyard Distillery Michelle – could this be that Michelle, looking up at him right now?

“Heading out for a sail?” he asked. Then, to divert attention from his clumsy attempt at conversation (We’re on a dock, dummy, he thought, chances are good she is going out), he quickly followed up with, “Which one’s yours?”

***

Hello, Gang of Glorious Readers, Rhea here.

I am entering stories into contests, some of which do not allow any publication of any kind, even on a wee blog like mine. So if you would like to read the entire story, send me your email address and I will forward it to you.

Best always, RDG