Seen A Shooting Star Tonight: A Gotham Writers Prompt

That night I seen a shooting star and I did what one must do. I made a wish.

It was a clear night. The sky was the deepest and darkest blue. The stars were everywhere. They were big, and close. They resembled diamonds.

I had just arrived at the farmhouse, where my writing buddies and I were staying for a writing/reading retreat. It felt good to be away from city noise, but at the same time it was a bit eerie. Being a city girl where noise is constant, the quiet was thick and palpable. There was a sense of peace. No sirens wailing. No traffic or horns honking. No people talking.

The farmhouse was n the background with soft light glowing from the floor to ceiling windows. As the night deepened, it seemed to wrap the house in a cozy blanket. One thing I have learned about rural areas is how deep the night is, with no streetlights or background noise, only the songs of insects and tree frogs.

I remember the crackle of the fire and how soothing it was. When I returned home from the retreat, my significant other and I went to Target and purchased Woodwick candles. When the house if quiet and the music is low, the flames crackle like that fire in the fireplace at the farmhouse.

As I lay in his arms, naked, listening to his breath, I am returned to that farmhouse. I remember the dazzling stars in the sky, so vivid they looked as if they could be plucked from the sky and placed in a pocket. I am returned to the deep quiet of the night and the shooting star. I remember my wish and as I lay in my lover’s arms I know it has come true.

You First: A Gotham Writers Prompt

“I dare you!” one child said.

“No! I dare you!!” said another.

“No you go first!!

“No you go!!

“Let’s go together.”

“I don’t want to go at all!”

This was the game the children would play when they passed by the dilapidated blue framed house. The wood porch sagged on one side, like a lop-sided grin. It was missing most of its steps. It was a snaggle-toothed porch. The house’s windows were boarded up and those on the second floor were open. Tattered curtains, weathered yellow from the sun, flapped whenever the crisp October wind blew. One of the curtains flicked slightly, seeming to hide someone peeking out.

“That’s the scary house,” the children would whisper.

There had been stories told about the house. Tales about murder. Tales about death. The children would pass and dare one another to walk up to the porch and touch it. That is how the game began. As time wore on, the children began to dare one another to not only touch the porch, but to climb the snaggled-toothed stairs and knock on the door.

There was a new girl in the neighborhood. A little black girl. She was a sienna brown and wore her hair in two braids alongside her head. She was seven and being the new girl, had no friends. She walked to her new school with the other children, but she followed behind. She listened to them laugh and talk and dare. She would stop at the house and look at it. She took in its lopsided snaggle-toothed grin. She felt sad for the house and would stand there a minute or two longer than the other children, then she would turn and walk quickly to catch up with them.

She wondered what she would do if anyone dared her to touch it. She knew children could be mean and would probably dare her to go even further, up the steps, over the porch and into the house. Into the house. She shivered. She hoped they would never dare her.

Scaling Back: A Gotham Writers’ Prompt

Photo by Mariia Zakatiura on Unsplash

I need to scale back on book buying. I have a library, over 1500 books I’m almost sure. Eleven bookcases total. Their shelves over-flowing. I’ve always been a reader, always loved buying books. I am a book hoarder. If someone asks to borrow a book, I get anxiety. I don’t like that. I prefer if a person does not ask to borrow. I prefer people to come and admire. People who want to come by to sit and discuss all things books.

I believe my hoarding began when Borders went out of business. It was my favorite bookstore. Then I heard or read somewhere bound books would become obsolete because of the Kindle and Nook devices. I believe that sent my butt into overdrive and now…now I need to scale back. I just don’t have the space. If I don’t scale back on book buying I will need a mansion with its own library. Floor to ceiling bookcases, like those in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. They say in order to write, a writer must read and read a lot. I read but not as much as I would like. My goal is to read every book I own. Every last one.

I read about the book collections of famous people, just to compare the number of books in their collection with mine. I learned Frederick Douglas owned over 4000 books. I wonder should that be my cutoff number? I forget which famous person had a collection of 9000 books. 9000! Now that’s a goal! But no! I have to tell myself NO!

I need to scale back.

Night Garden

Photo by moodvalley from Pexels

I dream of planting a flower garden but one that blooms by night. A garden filled with flowers that come alive under the moonlight.

I see myself sitting in a gazebo of chestnut wood with screen lined windows. It stands in the middle of my garden where the moonlight can shine upon it. The bench seats lined with soft cushions allow me to sit in comfort. A metal framed glass table in the middle holds a three wick candle. The flames illuminate the space with its flickering light. I have my notepad and pencil on my lap, as I sit cross-legged, listening to the sounds of nightfall.

I sit and admire my planted blossoms. The pale petals of moonflowers, the fragrant scents of tuberose, gardenia and Japanese wisteria. I sit still and try not to worry about time. I allow myself to be immersed in the colors and fragrance of my nocturnal garden. I await the arrival of the muse. I can hear her footsteps on the moonlit path. I pick up my pencil and reposition my notepad. The time has come to write.