The Commute – 3 Line Tales

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There was always such exquisiteness in leaving; an aching tug that rose from the depths and made her smile against her will. She hesitated on the dock, boarding pass in hand, discerning the clinking buoys beneath the pier from the steady hum of the ferry’s engine. If she closed her eyes, she could feel the water tugging against the pier from below. The gentleness of wave against wood belied the force with which it would spit the dock from its moorings and send it ass over tea kettle into the Pacific. If it wanted to. For a moment, she stood in awe at the raw power she rarely questioned. The ocean that could silence a pier, a vessel, a life – lapped with a calm indifference at her feet. It was the indifference, she decided, that kept her coming back. Not this time. This time, she’d brought her things -and left him sleeping in a cloud of his own stupor.

Without a word, she settled her bag around her shoulders and headed to the ramp to board. Soon, the clinking of the buoys would fade amidst the chatter of morning commuters, disappearing completely as she waited in line to purchase her return.

© Nadia Brown

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Photo by Charlie Hang

The Rhythm of Things – 3LineTales

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All these things I haven’t done, packed neatly into their dark, square drawers. Cramped and contained, awaiting their turn. One thing at a time, my teachers always said. Patience! Gently! Too many at once and the whole system topples. Follow the system; follow the priorities.

I tap tap tap the little squares. Gently, in rhythm. Like a metronome. Tap tap tap, as though they were piano keys. Softly, my piano teacher used to say. Gently –  imagine you have boneless hands. And my boneless heels tap tap the rhythm – until all the things I haven’t done are flying wild and free. Staccato! The music said. Presto agitato!  Which I do think means a good swift kick.

© Nadia Brown

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Photo by Rosan Harmens

Unsportsmanlike conduct – 3LinesTales

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Whack, whack, shuffle, clatter, stomp! The chaos of a thousand feet rang in her ears and she tried to drown it out by singing louder.

Hmmm, hmmm, hmmm!  Cautiously, she worked her way to the edge of the crowd, fighting against flailing arms and the droplets of sweat that filled her senses. Get me out of here! She knew this many limbs spelled danger. Whoosh! A sudden thump on her back propelled her off the road. She let out a sharp cry, tumbling unceremoniously across the median. Once she’d caught her breath, she recognized the softness around her.  Peonies!  With a deep sigh, she extended her tongue and sucked in the sweet, sweet nectar.

© Nadia Brown

Check out Sonya’s 3 Lines Tales weekly photo prompt and join in!

Photo by Martin Zemlickis

Uncle Percy – daily prompt (Perfection)

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He dusted the vase again, noting the shadows that fell across its sloping sides; the elegant handles that glinted silver in the light. It needs more flowers, he decided. Slowly, lazily, he worked his way through the garden, picking the daisies that seemed to spring up more plentifully each year.

“That’s a strange vase your Uncle gave you,” Glenda remarked as he returned. Curled in the armchair, she was hours deep in a book – like any other Sunday. “What did Uncle Percy call it again?” She was chiding him, smirking into the afternoon.

He placed the daisies gently in the vase, smiling at the crystal water that reached within an inch of the lip. Not once had he refilled it, in the five years since Uncle Percy had died.

“A Grail,” he nodded sagely. “He called it a Grail.”

© Nadia Brown

Daily Prompt – Perfection

Rebuilding the human spirit

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There are moments when we stand, facing an ocean or a day, when suddenly we see something. It is the same thing – perhaps the same island, or the same face, or the same idea – but it has shifted. There is no telling how or why, but somehow, it has expanded and trickled in directions and dimensions that we didn’t realize existed. And that thing will never be contained by the same parameters again. We can feel this as it’s happening – like sand shifting underneath our feet. It opens doors, but as we see an opening widen, we realize that we are no longer looking at walls – and we never really were.

Going places – physical travel – has always been what does this for me.  Maybe it happens when I’m away because I am off balance. Sometimes it’s something specific in what I’ve seen in my travels, and sometimes it’s the people I’ve met, but I always return home to a seemingly changed world. Sometimes, however, what rebuilds us is just the recognition of things we haven’t seen – in what we’ve always known. It can happen when standing over the sink, washing the same dish we’ve washed a thousand times. And maybe, at those times, it happens specifically because we are grounded at home. Whatever it is, it rekindles and rebuilds the spirit.

Thought I’d try combining prompts today – I hope no one minds!

Dutch goes the Photo!‘s weekly prompt “The Human Spirit” and

The Daily Post‘s daily prompt “Rebuild”.

Understanding – daily prompt

“But that’s just it, you see…” His mouth twisted in distress, “It’s when I begin to understand – that’s when I become most lost.”

She leaned forward, gazing thoughtfully at the young man sitting across from her.

“Excellent. I think you are ready. This will be your last appointment.”

© Nadia Brown