Micro-Monday Flash Fiction: {Window}

Yay! I'm trying to be consistent. I really am. :)

This week's prompt is "window." (If you're curious as to how I choose my prompts, it's a very complex and laborious process. Basically I look through my stock image folder and pick a photo that strikes me that day.)

So. Window. What images does this conjure up in your mind? What kind of window? Are you looking out? Or looking in? Let the word sink in, and then write the first 300 words that come together in your mind.

If you feel like sharing, post here in the comments or post on your own blog/site and link up on twitter with #mmflashfic. 

Have fun!

{Note: I COULDN'T DO IT. I couldn't keep it to under 300 words. My initial writing frenzy produced 441 words! I tried so hard to edit it down, and I only got it down to 366. So that is where it is. I will forgive any overages up to 500 words, I think.} ;)

She pulled back the lace curtain and peeked out the front window. They would be here soon. She sighed and let the curtain slip from her fingertips, closing her eyes and remembering the day her mother gave it to her 58 years ago as a wedding gift. It had hung in her front window ever since, no matter what house or apartment they'd lived in.

She shuffled away from the window and began a slow walk around the house, conjuring up memories of her life here. They'd only been in this house for the past 26 years, but it had been 26 good years. Full of life and love. 

And sadness.

It was in this house she had watched her husband transform from the strong, handsome man she had married long ago to a feeble shell of the person he had been. She had promised to love him in sickness and in health, and that is exactly what she had done. She always smiled at him, no matter what. And he always looked at her with stars in his eyes, like he was the luckiest guy in the world to have her on his arm.

Until the sparkle died and he became confused and angry, because somewhere in his mind, he knew he had lost himself. She tried to calm him. But the day he pushed her away angrily--the day she fell and broke her hip--she knew it was time to let stronger people care for him.

He died in the nursing home, three years ago.

And now she was going there, because her hip had gotten so bad she couldn't care for herself well anymore. The only reason she walked around the house now, in this last attempt to grasp fast-fading memories, was because she wanted to leave with as much independence as she'd had when she first walked through this door.

When she heard the van pull up in front of the house, and the subsequent knock, she hobbled to the door, opened it, and walked out with as much dignity as she could muster.

But she couldn't stop the tears that escaped her eyes as she left her old life behind.

{Words: 366}

Micro-Monday Flash Fiction: {Little}

Alrighty. Let's try this Flash Fiction thing again, shall we? I have fun with it, it gets my writing muscles warmed up for the week, and I know at least a few other people have enjoyed it in the past. So, here we go.

Remember: 300 words or fewer. Post in the comments, or link up on Twitter with #mmflashfic. Today's prompt is "little." Write whatever that sparks for you.

They were so little. So tiny. And every time she looked at them, her heart broke all over again.

Shoes. 

They sat on the dresser in the freshly painted nursery, next to the rocking chair in the corner and the crib against the wall. Above the crib hung a Noah's Ark mobile, miniature fuzzy animals dangling beneath a boat that had never turned 'round and never played its lullaby. Maybe it never would.

She sighed and fingered the shoes, just looking around the room. What would they do now? Was it worth another try? She sat in the rocking chair and began rocking, subconsciously rubbing her belly that had once held life. She couldn't trust her body. it was a malicious thing, a thing that killed, and she didn't know if she could ever trust it to care for a life again.

She kicked off her own shoes and slowly rubbed her feet across the Noah's Ark plush rug as she rocked, her feet sliding back and forth, toes wriggling into the thick pile. 

And she cried.

The blue walls wavered and blurred as she looked up at the wooden letters that spelled "Emerson." They'd have to take it down, she thought. They'd have to take it all down. Maybe they should just sell the furniture, paint the walls white, and turn it back into a guest bedroom. Put some fluttery white curtains on the windows, and a vase of bright, cheery flowers on the nightstand. Yes, that might do. That might help them to forget.

They did repaint the room, and sell the furniture.

But she kept the little pair of shoes right next to the vase of flowers. And a single letter, "E," on the wall above the nightstand.

(Words: 291)

NaPoWriMo, Day 3

"some days this armor"
some days this armor's too heavy to hold
my spirit is weakened, i'm beaten, worn down
but the battle continues, if i'm weak or i'm bold
and i just want to let my sword drop to the ground
remove this thick breastplate and kick off my shoes
toss my shield aside, for a moment run free
feel the wind lick my hair and forget the rough noose
ever present and trying to asphyxiate me
so i sigh, hang my head - this must be what paul meant
when he asked for the thorn to be pulled from his side
but i, just like him, must look for the God-sent
glory and mercy, and lay down my pride.
(but just for a moment - a second at least -
a part of me hungers to savor the feast
laid before me, but only exciting in thought
for i know that tasting it would come to naught.)

NaPoWriMo, Day 2

I'm a little behind (thanks to a lovely visit from out-of-town family), so I am attempting to catch up.

"absence"

absence reigns like a bastard king
who cut down the royal family
to steal the power of the throne 
cruel and cold and unjust and 
so unfortunately 
obvious 
flaunting his rings of forgetting 
his diadem of disputing 
his robes of not-caring 
he drives through the city streets 
surrounded by his silent, steadfast army
blocking the pathways at every turn 
blocking my way to
you 
absence is a cruel king 
and your tryst with him makes me 
hate him even more

© 2014 Amy Lutes

NaPoWriMo, Day 1

Hey! It's National Poetry Writing Month!

I've ventured into the realms of National Novel Writing Month during several Novembers in the past, but this is the first time I've ever participated in NaPoWriMo. I will be posting an original poem each day here for your reading pleasure. Hopefully you enjoy them. But if not, it's okay. It's really for me, anyway. :)

Up first, for Day 1: "soft fall the blossoms"

soft fall the blossoms on shore
the harbor empty of its ships
but i still stand here waiting for
the farewell fire to leave my lips

his arms were iron 'round my waist
and tears dripped hotly from my eyes
his face was inches from my face
obscuring all the bluer skies

my heart will not forget this hour
my body won't forget his love
but still i stand upon this shore
await some sign from God above

that he's protected, he'll be home
that journeys find him safe and free
my heart awaits the day he'll come
back to the harbor, back to me

© Amy Lutes, 2014

Dreams





Today, I am at home, sitting in my messy living room as my children play with random toys and the folded-up boxes I have leaning against one side of our couch in preparation to start packing and sorting things. I am also facebook-stalking old classmates and wistfully thinking about what might have been.


I went to an arts school in 9th and 10th grade. My family had just moved from Middle-of-Nowhere Pennsylvania to Charlotte, NC the summer before 9th grade. So in one fell swoop, I was suddenly 600 miles away from my friends, in a new city, going to a new school that was much more liberal than the conservative, sheltered home that I'd grown up in.

Ninth grade was a little rough emotionally, to say the least. How was I - an overweight, shy, average-grades, four-eyed, self-conscious girl, supposed to fit in with kids who knew they could act/sing/dance/paint - who knew they were destined for Broadway, or Hollywood - destined for greatness? I didn't even know what I wanted to be when I grew up. All I knew is that I loved music, loved singing. And this arts magnet school would give me the opportunity to be surrounded by music all the time.

I awkwardly shoved my glasses up the bridge of my nose as I walked down the hallways past dancers in tights and leotards, actors who created their own unique wardrobes, and even a girl who claimed to be a witch, and wore a silk cloak to school. I fought with myself when it came time to answer questions in class, I derided myself for weeks if I sang a wrong note in my musical theater class, and don't even get me started on how I handled my most-of-the-school-year crush on a boy who turned out to be gay.

I was surrounded by people I simultaneously looked up to and couldn't understand. How could they feel so comfortable with themselves, with who they were, while I was standing here wanting to crawl out of my own skin?

I will never forget the day that I threw a fit before school because I had "nothing to wear." So I haphazardly put together some kind of shoddy combination of a white-and-blue plaid crinkle skirt, a blue college sweatshirt, navy blue tights, and these hideous Xhileration sneakers from Target. I was so embarrassed, but I ran into my crush in the hallway and he stopped, smiled, and told me how nice I looked (!). For a sliver of a second I clung to hope that maybe...maybe... And then I laughed. I looked nice? Ha!

I only started realizing that people actually noticed me at all at the end of my 10th grade year. I was not going to be coming back to the arts school the following year, as I had felt that both my faith and my grades were slipping. (Not cool when you get As in all the classes you sing in, and Ds in Algebra 2.) As one of our last class sessions for a leadership class I had (we were sort of the student government), my teacher had us all sit in a circle and, one by one, we all had to sit in the middle while everyone else either gave us constructive criticism or told us what they admired about us. There were several seniors in the class whom I greatly admired but thought they didn't really know who I was. They teared up as they told me how they admired me, for being so true to my faith, for singing beautifully, for doing any number of things I thought no one had noticed that year. I was so shocked. That day is one that will stay with me forever.

I left the school after that year, but I always thought back on my experiences, wondering what everyone was up to now, wondering what I might be up to now.

Well, apparently half of my class from that school now lives and works in the great New York City, pursuing and living their dreams. I mean, Broadway actors, dancers, directors; celebrity hairstylists; you name it, they're living their creative dreams.

Where am I?

Nashville. In a messy living room. With kids who fight over baby carrots and flashlights.


But you know what? I am living my dream. Because my dream was always - even if I didn't fully realize it or understand it at the time - to be a mommy and a writer. Sure, it may be fun to perform on Broadway, to sing and act and get standing ovations and have my name in lights. It may be fun to make music, go on tour, and have thousands of fans screaming my name. But I couldn't possibly leave these two beautiful, amazing children at my feet. Just thinking about it makes me sad. I don't even like to be away from them for a whole day. (Alright, there are some days I'm okay with being away from them for the whole day. But not frequently.)


And I am currently working on the first draft of the third book in a trilogy I'm writing. And even though it's not published yet - even though no one out there knows yet how this story has moved me to tears,  how the writing of it has changed me - I know that they will. Someday soon. Because these words are my dream. These pages are my stage. And though right now I only have an audience of one, I know that one day, this dream will go live.


And when it does, I'll have my husband and my two awesome children by my side.

What dream could be better than that?