Adrift

 fatima-fakier-deria1

No man is an island.

Marta’s brain knew this to be true though her heart doubted it.

Things bustled around her, throngs of people coming and going. Her home was an endless parade of mourners trying to buffer her grief with hushed condolences and casseroles. As if “sorry” could soften the blow of unexpectedly losing her love of thirty-two years. She managed robotic hugs and canned responses. Numb.

Maybe she wasn’t an island, but she felt like she was stranded on one. Well, not exactly stranded. Perhaps with a boat, but lacking an oar…the means without the drive.

Adrift.

 

Photo credit: © Fatima Fakier Deria

Do you ever just feel overwhelmed and while the world carries on merrily around you, all you can do is… float? That’s what I’m trying to portray here, not sure if it works. This is written for the weekly flash fiction challenge, Friday Fictioneers. Check out the other authors’ contributions here. Many thanks to our lovely host, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

If We Were Having Coffee… 3/26/17

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Welcome! I’m so glad we could meet for coffee this week. I missed you last time. My apologies, life gets overwhelming at times. Come on in and have a seat. We’ve had some rainy, dreary weather this weekend. The temperatures have been moderate, though, so you can choose a hot or a cold beverage… whatever you’d like.

Since this is virtual and you can’t actually see my humble abode, I will tell you that we got a new front door. You would have to know what my old door looked like in order to realize why I am so excited. It was old and in bad shape. I’ve been wanting to replace it since we moved in. Now I have a brand new, modern beautiful door. It took my husband and my dad an entire weekend to install it. It has a glass panel so it lets in more light, a fact that I am still getting used to.

We’ve been quiet busy here with school and work and scouts. We spent most of the day yesterday peddling girl scout cookies. We did well but unfortunately still have some left. The end of the season is near, so we need to sell them so that we can get our full profit.

We have a busy April coming up. (sidenote: how in the everloving hell is it almost April?!!) We are planning a trip to South Carolina for Easter to visit family. We also have two other overnight trips for scouts in April. Our weekends are booked. On the one hand, I love being busy. We have some wonderful experiences planned for my girls. When I am busy, I feel productive. I feel alive. On the other hand, the packed schedule can become overwhelming. As an introvert, I need a lot of downtime that is quiet, peaceful and restful. Things can feel chaotic when I don’t get that time.

Operation Reduce the Sugar has been going surprisingly well. No more soda, I am drinking water 100% at work. I also drink water mostly at home, though I have had a little juice here and there. My work lunches have been healthier as well with more fresh fruits. My weakness is candy and cookies. We got rid of the candy in the house. If it’s not here I can’t eat it, right? The cookies are a different story but I have cut down on them. Confession: I did buy a bag of Cadbury mini eggs at the store last week in a moment of weakness. They are still on my nightstand unopened. That is willpower, friends. My rationalization is that they are seasonal (I can only get them for a short time) and 100% deprivation usually doesn’t work. Moderation is the key, right? As long as I don’t scarf down the entire bag in three days it is okay, right?

I did a little writing this week. I submitted a piece for Friday Fictioneers. Check out Isolated.

So, catch me up. What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

Thanks to Emily at Nerd in the Brain for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share (created by Part-time Monster)! Stop in and have a cup with our other participants at the linkup here.

Isolated

gateway-jhardy

I once had a family. Once. Those years were full of love and joy. I have been sad and empty since they left.

The beings with me now are different. Cold, despondent, detached. They use me but they couldn’t care less about me. I’m just a shell.

When others come around, I try to make a good impression. It’s hard, though. I’m getting old and I’ve fallen into disrepair. The cold ones don’t take care of me. They also don’t like to share, scaring away anyone who shows an interest in me.

They’ve ran off four realtors this week alone.

 

Photo credit: J Hardy Carroll

This is written for the weekly flash fiction challenge, Friday Fictioneers. Check out the other authors’ contributions here. Many thanks to our lovely host, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

If We Were Having Coffee… 3/12/17

natalie-collins-57855

Welcome! Come on in out of the cold. Yes, our erratic weather has struck again. After some very warm spring-like days, we have hit low temperatures yet again (but luckily avoided the snow). Hopefully this will be the last bit of winter. We can enjoy some warm beverages today.

My house is quiet this morning. We have a bonus kid today (older daughter had a sleepover last night) so the kids are occupying each other. They were up quite late last night, though, so I am tired today. Add in daylight saving time (I loathe spring forward!) and it is a recipe for zombie-level fatigue today. The Walking Dead is on tonight so maybe that is perfect.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it has been an uneventful week. Uneventful is actually good. Work and school made the week pass quickly. There have been two promising changes at work. First, someone has been assigned to help me call out screening results, relieving me of some of my overwhelming workload. Second, we may have an interested candidate for the other counseling position. Yes, the counseling position that we have been recruiting for for a year and a half. I really hope she takes the job because it would help me immensely. Fingers crossed.

If we were having coffee, I would also update you on the Kitty Chronicles. Precious, the new cat, has become quite the lovebug. She is so sweet. The cats are getting along better, there have been fewer scuffles. More and more, they can be near each other with no problems. Things are not perfect, but the house is much more peaceful.

I have also made the decision to try to quit sugar. You give me that look. I know, I understand. My sugar addiction is like a level 100 critical. I am not saying it will be easy. I am going to cut out soda (goodbye daily Mountain Dew) and my beloved high-fructose-corn syrup-laden Hawaiian punch (it deeply pains me to type that). I will drink more water. I will eat better. I went to the store last night and bought fresh fruits and nuts. I will cut out the candy (this may be the hardest part). I will exercise. These healthy changes will hopefully help me to look and feel better.

I wrote a flash fiction piece for Friday Fictioneers! It has been so long since I participated. Please check it out here.

Catch me up. What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

Thanks to Emily at Nerd in the Brain for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share (created by Part-time Monster)! Stop in and have a cup with our other participants at the linkup here.

Yellow Death

yellow-bug-shaktiki

Day One: Sore throat, malaise

Day Two: Fever, vomiting

Day Three: Headache, muscle weakness

Day Four: Severe dehydration

Day Five: Delirious, organ failure

Most people were dead by day six. Doctor Steven Ford was on day four.

The Yellow Death – named for the beautiful, colorful insect that he engineered to carry the virus – moved swiftly and mercilessly. He had performed his job well… but he made just one mistake.

In his final lucid moments, he wondered where he went wrong. His one regret? Not the covert meetings nor the dirty money. It was not making sure that he wasn’t resistant to the antidote.

 

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Photo credit: Shaktiki Sharma

It has been a long time since I participated in Friday Fictioneers! Check out the other authors’ contributions here. Many thanks to our lovely host, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

 

If We Were Having Coffee… 3/5/17

natalie-collins-57855

Welcome! I am so happy for our coffee date this week. Come on in and grab a cup of your favorite beverage. You can even have some left over birthday cake or some of the kit kats that my kids got me for my birthday.

It has been a long and stressful week here. We had a devastating tornado blow through on Tuesday and left a path of destruction in its wake. My family and my home are all fine, thank goodness. Many in my town were not as lucky and lost everything. This is a small community, so we all know these families well. There was also one fatality. The cleanup and relief efforts continue day by day and will take a while. Local businesses have stepped in to help and the outpouring of donations from locals and surrounding areas has been inspiring. This area has really come together to support those who were affected. While seeing the wreckage and debris (in person as well as all over the news and on facebook) has been depressing, seeing a small community rise up and take care of its own has been heartwarming.

On a lighter note, Friday was my birthday. I took the day off work and spent it with my kids (who were out of school due to the tornado damage) and my mom. While I am old enough to not really revel in turning a year older, I always appreciate time with loved ones.

I am so glad you came today. I have had tunnel vision this week, the tornado and aftermath have dominated my time and thoughts. Let’s talk about you. Tell me everything about your week. Catch me up!

Thanks to Emily at Nerd in the Brain for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share! Stop in and have a cup with our other participants at the linkup here.