Friday, September 25, 2009

Saturday Wordzzle Challenge: Week 82

This is week 82 of the Saturday Wordzzle challenge. Anyone new to the process can refer back here to find out how it works. My apologies for posting so late. I had just started writing (trying to write) mine quite late to begin with and then Nate and Dan drove up and moved my kitchen into my living room (pictures tomorrow), so I am ready for the work to start on Tuesday.... or pretty much ready. Now it's 8:00 and I have to settle down and try to write three wordzzles. With these nutty words. Aggggh!

The words for this week's ten word challenge were: Tibetan sky, symbols, won’t you come home Bill Baily, shadow figures, brain cortex, practice makes perfect, life, start of school, lavender, chow down And for the mini: mental hospital, falling leaves, apple cider, packing crates, clues

My mega:

Matilda was dreading the start of school. Even the beauty of the falling leaves and the sweet aroma of her mother's hot apple cider could not lift her spirits. Ever since the accident which had damaged her brain cortex, Matilda had been subject to strange dreams and sometimes to waking dreams and strange shadow figures which were difficult to distinguish from what was real. The worst of the dreams was one in which she was locked in a room with a bunch of packing crates decorated with strange symbols and a talking mouse who insisted that she must interpret the symbols before she could leave the room. "Practice makes perfect," he repeated over and over in his squeaky voice. When she explained that she didn't know what the symbols meant he would nod sagely and reply, "yes you do. Practice makes perfect. You will see." Sometimes he sounded a lot like her mother and sometimes like the therapist from the hospital. She knew the dream had something to do with returning to school after a year's absense, but she didn't know what they meant and they just made her feel more frightened about what was to come. She had always been something of an outsider even before and now and she feared that even the few friends she had had would probably be steering clear of her. Possibly the worst result of her injury was that she tended to break into song for no reason and without even knowing that she was doing it - kind of a singing Tourette's Syndrome her doctor had called it, trying to make her laugh. (She didn't think it was funny,) Her repertoire (she had no clue as to where she had learned these songs) ranged from: won't you come home Bill Bailey to Under a Tibetan Sky to There Once Was a Lavender Cowboy to Oh the Good Life, to Gonna Chow Down in China Town. It was a surprisingly long list. She had no idea how she even knew these songs. In the mental hospital where she had spent much of her recuperation time, she had been a big hit, which told her just what a school full of catty teenagers was going to think of her. She was doomed, she thought, breaking into a chorus of I've Been Workin' on the Railroad.

My 10-word:

"Practice makes perfect" the lama had told him at the start of "school" as he called his journey to Tibet to learn meditation and put himself on the path to a better, more spiritual life. "Focus your energy and attention in the brain cortex and allow Spirit to send whatever message it wishes to send to you. Don't try to force anything, simply let the symbols or message come to you. I know you are eager for something dramatic, but be patient my young friend. When I began this path, I saw strange shadow figures, vague insubstantial forms that I could not clearly make out. When I went to my teacher to complain of my failure, he told me to have patience and indeed over time these beings moved out of shadow and became clear to me. There is no hurry. So he had persisted patiently day after day to still his mind and sit in quiet meditation, hoping for the shift the lama promised him would come. But, he had not been prepared, sitting here under the Tibetan Sky to hear his mother's voice, as though she were standing at his shoulder, saying, "won't you come home Bill Bailey and chow down with me on some savory orange and lavender chicken? Was there no escaping the woman, he wondered? That was, at least in part, what he had come all this way to do. He hoped the lama could help. Surely that impossible woman could not be his spirit guide. Breathe, he told himself, and stay focused. As he did, another figure came forward laying a hand on his heart. And as it did so, he felt a sense of pure peace flow over him. "I love you Mom," he whispered, but I'm busy right now. We'll have dinner when I get home." And as the words were spoken it was like a chain was broken and a new kind of love flowed between him and his mother and then between him and the world. He was at peace.

And the mini:

Jane sat quietly numb on the packing crates that held the contents of what had been her home, a cup of apple cider in her had as she waited for the movers who were now past due. She looked out the window at the falling leaves as they floated down from the branches of her beloved oak tree and wondered how she could have missed the clues that must have been there. Maybe if she had been paying more attention, it wouldn't all have happened. Margaret would be alive and her son would not be locked up in a mental hospital for the criminally insane. She had failed somehow, she knew, though she didn't know quite how. She had loved him, perhaps too much. She had not seen the darkness in him and she wondered now how she could have missed it? Others had tried to tell her but she had not listened and now, now... now it was too late. She could not fix Margaret or Charlie, her husband's broken heart or her own. She had not heard her husband's footsteps behind her, but his gentle arm around her shoulder was more comfort than she deserved and leaning into his arms, her tears fell as fast as the leaves outside.


Next Week's Ten Word Challenge will be: family, cheese cake, 20 years ago, refrigerator, laugh and the world laughs with you, bath brush, zombies, African violets, butterflies, holding hands

And for the mini: monsters in the closet, roughly, bowling, menu, Pennsylvania

Thanks for playing.

For those who are new, here are some guidelines to make the process more fun.

Enjoy! See you next week.



Richard said...

As always your writing touched my heart. The mini moved me.

Argent said...

Oh, I did love your mega. I think I must have damaged my brain cortex as I break into song for all the time for no reason too, LOL!

Your 10-worder was quite moving and tenderly written. I wonder what orange and lavender chicken tastes like.

Your mini was also so nicely crafted - a volume of story in just a paragraph.

Batteson.Ind said...

more things of beauty!... Gentle, intelligent, niceness.. all the lovliest words in the human language.. insert :-D... it's great to be visiting again!

Dr.John said...

I like the first one best. It had such wonderful images. I can just see the poor girl breaking into song when the teacher asks a question.Youy are indeed a master of words.
I like the happy ending of the second one.
The third one is so sad. More for me because I had to minister to a mother whose son killed himself and she had all the same guilt as your character
Well done.

DawnTreader said...

I think you've outdone yourself this week, all three stories made brilliant use of the words. I think the mega is my favourite, though.

Stephen said...

I liked the mega story best, about the girl who kept singing. The 10 word story, about the man who went to Tibet, was also good, as was the mini story, though it was very sad.

Stephen from Scottsdale, Arizona, USA

CJ said...

Oh, dear. I think Matilda is going to have a rough time of it at school. The other two were great, too.

Reston Friends! said...

I like Matilda, but knowing high school, I fear for her. Hopefully, she can embrace her differences!

The peace achieved through meditation -- I think I see your zen kitty in there some where!

And the last one made me very sad. But it was well written.