Three, Two, One: Bumper Balloons

Flip – flap – flutter
went the bits of man-made rubber
as he took away the rudder
and he waved goodbye to mother.

‘I’m an engine of the sky,’
sang he, loud, while he sped by,
while his mama dabbed her eye,
while his wobbly wings a-try

To lift, or maybe thrust,
by ignoring drag, or just

By the will of boyish hope,
as his canter speeds to lope;

And seven small balloons
circle ’round, like rainbow moons;
dip and swirl ‘gainst the noon;
flutter, drag to boyish tune

Of hasty dreams, of racing knees
Of birthday dreams on summer breeze.

©2022 Chel Owens

Photo by Victoria Borodinova on Pexels.com

Written in response to Carrot Ranch‘s prompt: balloons on a bumper

September 12, 2022, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about balloons on a bumper. Is it a spectacle, an occasion, an eccentricity? Why are the balloons there? Who is involved? Go where the prompt leads!

The Hereafter, Aloft

She came every day at 5:00; after making her way from the bus [D’you need a hand, Mrs. Parker?], down the sidewalk, to the bench.

She needed more and more assistance from those sweet young nurses [What if we skipped the park today, Mrs. Parker?] with each passing day.

The birds know her. Chirping – flitting – pecking. She laughs at their avian antics.

[Come with us.]

“What?” Emiline Parker glances around. A sparrow eyes her.

[Come fly.]

“…Why?”

[You’ve cared. It’s the least we could do.]

Considering, she nods. The birds alight; a new friend among them, an old life behind.

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From this gif, as prompted by Charli at Carrot Ranch.

©2020 Chelsea Owens

What do you hope for?

I’ve always wanted to fly.

I’m not talking airplanes, either. I’m talking: self-automated, magic flight. In my childhood nighttime dreams I’d run -fast, faster, faster!- till the momentum or movement or fairy dust accelerated my hopeful person into the sky.

I have other dreams, of course, but I fear to share them. I fear that voicing my wants, desires, and wishes will result in disaster. If, for example, I’d always wanted perfect vision, I wouldn’t tell anyone. Telling another would surely result in Fate crashing a car into mine and causing blindness, afflicting me with a genetic condition that affects sight, or causing one eye to randomly fall out.

Hey; it could happen!

As you can see, I’ve a real problem looking forward to things. From a psychological mush of my parents using upcoming events as rewards I might lose; my always putting others before me in true, selfless motherhood; and a desire to avoid the pain of disappointment, I do not anticipate positive events.

Instead, I numb. Instead, I cry. Instead, I sadly shelve my glowing orbs of potential dreams and tell myself to look elsewhere.

Elsewhere is safer.

And yet, I do have dreams. I think. Waaaaaay back in high school, our teacher had us make a bucket list of things we wanted to do in life. Mine included traveling to Europe, learning another language, and …I don’t remember.

Wishing and anticipating and doing were so much easier then -you know, before I had to wait for the ol’ money tree to produce something besides sour grapes.

How about you? Have you ever had a dream? Do you still? Do you share your dreams, or hold them like secret treasures?

—————-

Here be what I wrote in the past week:
Wednesday, October 30: Opened up about the elephant in the room in “Depression and Donuts (and an Elephant).”

Thursday, October 31: Shared my first entry in the Halloweensie contest, “Midnight.”

Also, wrote an entry for this year’s contest, “Scampy Mouse.”

Friday, November 1: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Ruth Scribbles!

Saturday, November 2: Announced the 50th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is FIFTY (go figure). PLEASE ENTER!

Sunday, November 3: “The Healthy Benefits of Popcornopolis,” in response to reading the front of my favorite, very unhealthy snack.

Monday, November 4: An inspirational quote by Charles Bukowski, in the form of his poem.

Tuesday, November 5: “Since the Bombs Fell: Three.”

Wednesday, November 6: Today.

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

Charli’s Starlings

No one knew where the starlings came from. One day, the sidewalks and light posts and old brick buildings were bare; the next, they were scattered with flight.

Up and down Shelden Avenue elderly friends stopped their morning walk and children pointed and pulled at parents’ pants.

Winged, iridescent forms swooped up a wall. Yellow-beaked stills observed from flower pots. A proud male perched atop an awning.

Passersby soon realized that, lifelike as the birds were, they existed solely as pictures. For one woman, that mattered little.

She kissed her paint-stained fingertips in fond farewell, turned, and headed home.

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For Charli and her starling, and for this week’s prompt at Carrot Ranch.

June 27, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that involves paint. It can be fresh, peeling or in need of a coat. What is being painted and why? Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by July 3, 2019. Use the comment section below to share, read, and be social. You may leave a link, pingback, or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form.  Rules & Guidelines.

 

Photo Credit:
John Yunker

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

In The Beginning, There Was Distraction

Phan clutched her halo, rubbing already-tarnished finish. And sighed. If only she hadn’t been so diverted this morning, with the clouds. Then there’d been flowers. Then path swirls -which led right to the end of the lengthy queue…

“Next!” the angel matriarch called.

Phan floated forward. At a scowl, she hastily replaced her halo and hoped it aligned itself. It didn’t.

“Late again, Phanuelle.”

*Gulp*

“There’s only one assignment left; a newer one.”

Phan peered beyond the matriarch at the mostly harmless-looking blue and green sphere to which she must go. Oh, well. Perhaps it would have flowers, too.

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Created for Carrot Ranch‘s writing prompt.

April 11, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story using the phrase “beggars can’t be choosers.” You can play with the words, alter them or interpret them without using the phrase. Give it any slant you want — show what it means or add to its  meaning. Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by April 16, 2019. Use the comment section below to share, read and be social. You may leave a link, pingback or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form.  Rules & Guidelines.

 

Photo Credit:
Image by PIRO4D from Pixabay

Seasonal Perspectives

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I stand
a moment
in frigid air
and hear a cheery bird chirp near
and think
Why does he play his song?
Does he not see the frosty fronds, the wintry trees, the sleeping ground?

I perch
a moment
midst warming breeze
and see a saddened person sigh
and think
Why would she moan and cry?
Does she not feel the stretching stalks, the budding leaves, the waking sounds?

And both
the bird and human
shrug
and go back home
to wonder why
the other must be bound.

 

Photo by Peter Lewis on Unsplash

Not All May Climb, But They May Fly

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Backlit sun motes drift against downy lashes, their summer snowstorm dusting leaf silhouette dreams.

Her hand reaches to touch the untouchable treetops from whence they come.

Reach. Stroke.

If only she stretches her frail arm farther, she is sure to pull them down. Down like a jungle ladder, like a fantastical floral staircase, like a Jack’s beanstalk.

Hello, she whispers, I seek a sunset castle; giant or no.

But she can’t. Even without looking she sees lines of stitches’ kisses from hip to toe: a story she never wants to read but has to lay through every minute of every day even though she’s shouting, “No, Mom! No! Not that one again!”

And when Mom finally stops reading, mid-cry, the sad-smiling nurses pick up right where Mom left off.

And they have no pictures. No rhymes. No castles. All they have are charts -charts and charts of very serious stories.

Nature’s warm breath roves across her, shaking her picture book view, rustling grass blades and tousling blonde wisps around her eyes. Shifting leaf shapes reflect in half-circle, irised blue as her moted lashes slowly blink.

Here, in the cool grass beneath nature’s canopy is her story’s illustration. -Not down to the heavy parts that anchor her; not to the raised-skin paths where the doctor in the mask wrote the story she never wants to hear.

Her real story is above; with Jack, and Peter Pan, and Thumbelina. It’s trailing amongst the castles, the Neverlands, the fairy houses.

Her reaching fingers know the way.

Her squinting blue eyes follow cloudlit paths.

Her legs cannot feel the tickling green surrounding them, as shadows shake and dance over everything, the good stories and the bad.

But her weightless spirit rises from sleeping smiles to magic skies above.

And she flies.

Escape

If I had a hundred mathematically-large-enough

balloons

I’d cram the strings together

in a woven vest and rise higher

higher

through rain-gilded cloudscape.

I’d subsist on vapors, or maybe on sunrise ambrosia –

till atmospheric pressure (or somesuch scientific phenomenon)

popped just one

balloon.

Then I’d drop more rapidly than I rose:

the most obsequious, impotent adherent to Gravity and his unalterable law.

But really, I have to admit

-as I revisit clouds and ambrosia rays and treetops drawing nearer-

I was never free

and soon

I am right back where I started,

amidst 99 deflated spheres of red.

 

Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge.

Flights of Antsy

I used to be able to fly. I would run fast; faster -scissoring my legs and gaining altitude till I could coast in the wind.

My airstrip was the front lawn of my childhood home, the one with the steep hill. Or, it was the field with trees by my junior high school so I could fly into them and hide from my pursuers. Once, I was over a desert landscape and flew out of my kidnappers’ helicopter, landing amidst skittering sands.

Yes, usually my dreams involved exciting adrenaline escapes from hopeless prisons. I was contained for how special I was with all my powers. Sometimes I knew I must get out or my parents and siblings would get hurt as threats to me.

I passed a few years dreaming in solitude, but problems began to creep in. One time, I had to escape and ensure I also freed my helpless child. In a later dream, I tried to run but was literally dragged down by three dependents. I searched around in panic, mentally calculating the odds and knowing that it was impossible with so many.

Now, I rarely sleep well enough for my mind’s movie projector to work. When I am treated to an exclusive showing, the picture is blurry or I can’t save the world because the chores weren’t done.

Even my imagination has become hampered by the sludge of the everyday.