The Window

Christine Fichtenr Window

It’s a day where all you do is sit in the window and watch the wind blow through the trees.

Where the rustling is accompanied by your music.

Where your cat curls up on your lap and sleeps the hours away.

Where you can look over at your partner and share a smile that conveys all your love.

Where the sun grows golden among the green of the trees.

Where perhaps you read, or sketch, or write.

Where all the words you speak are soft in nature and in tone.

Where there is tea that steams in warm cups.

Where the day passes gently, busy outside, but calm in the bubble of your window.

—-

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.

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The Hiker

She is light on her feet. Lithe, with short, white blonde hair. She floats, rather than hikes, with steps like a river’s dance over the dirt and rocks.

She wishes me a good morning, and I reply with a smile. As she passes, I notice a shopping bag dangling from her backpack. Perhaps, I think, she would go grocery shopping after hiking. But at her pace, she would finish exercising long before the stores open. And besides, why have it hanging when she could roll it up and place it in her bag?

Just ahead of me, she jerks to the side, a frown creasing her brow. “Trash,” she mutters. I can hear the sneer in her words. “Pisses me off.” She bends down and picks up an empty Gatorade bottle, abandoned by either an uncaring tourist, or inconsiderate local.

She places it in the shopping bag and continues on. I stare after her, a smile testing the edges of my lips. The morning sun flares wings from her back.

——

I often hike early in the mornings in order to avoid the tourist traffic. The regular morning crew is awesome, and I’m starting to recognize faces. They’re all friendly and dedicated, and definitely admirable.

Reflection

He looked up and saw a man staring back. He smiled a weary smile, and it was returned, full of understanding.

They turned, each choosing a chair. Together they faced the setting sun, so very alone.

—-

I saw a man but I thought there were two. He sat with only his reflection for company. Was he lonely? I wondered as I, myself, sat alone and stared out the window.

Thief

 

There’s a darkness in this room now. The taint spreads from the corner. The window through which you violated my sanctuary. You oozed your way in, desperate, thieving.

You snatched memories from my shelves, cruel in your careless swipes and disregard. Your selfish desire.

You linger even after you sprint away from the crime. Your greedy hands pilfer the happiness from my mind. I can feel you staring, a faceless shadow.

—-

You don’t realize how much of a violation it is until it’s your home that’s broken into. It was only amazing support from family and friends that got me out of the strange funk I was in after it happened. 

But if he was so desperate to break into a house and steal, then he must be at a low point in his life. 

The sentimental value was the hardest blow. Items I can always replace. 

But his actions will follow him for the rest of his life. And with these thoughts, the anger drains. And all I can do now is hope that he finds a better path.

My City – Friday Flash Fiction Challenge by OM

   The endless rain of cars upon the streets lends a droning noise to the excited bustle of crowds that pace the streets in furious waves of cell phones and music players. Conversations you did not need to hear and lyrics you shouldn’t even be able to hear.

   Up and down and across the buses loop with black coughs. At even intervals, as trains arrive with squeals as painful as aching joints, and the ground rumbles in a mockery of the earthquake that has been on its way for the last fifty years.

   Around, buildings tower with promising winks and glassy eyes. Mirrors of desire. Coffee warms the hands of most who browse the streets. 

   Trees grow within their cages, trimmed and perfected. Blossoming in spring and illuminated in winter. They line the streets like ornamental filters. People flick their cigarette butts in appreciation.

   An overpriced food truck. The same free newspaper you avoided two blocks back. No, you don’t have any spare change. You jaywalk a one way street. A car stops for you.

   Every once in a while the sun deigns the city worthy of an appearance. But most days the skies mimic the cold cement, and cry for good measure. Ever followers, clothing of black and grey greet the eye like the dense fog that has been around all week.

   Hard paths line the water, just beyond the shore. Bike bells and pounding steps followed by the scent of sweat. The occasional seal greets from afar, soon chased away by a ship’s horn. Gritty sand is cool in the shadow of the logs that line the beaches. Hills of grass and a spattering of trees give a semblance of privacy. 

   Every few months, fireworks cheer, costumes parade the streets. And sometimes birthday suits on two wheels flash past amongst cheering laughs.

   Languages hum to each other. Every corner, a new one. Pointing fingers, flashing cameras, and large buses driving just a bit too slowly through the winding, illogical streets.

   Yellow, red, black, signs lit, meters already running, slowing past bus stops and huffing when no one moves, speeding off for better luck elsewhere. Of course when you call, there are none available.

   Because when night falls, the buses retreat and the alcohol pours and the police are unyielding with their sirens and dooming slips of paper. Stumbling from the bars and clubs, money scattered throughout the night, the cabs are there to collect the rest.

   The scent of cuisines as you walk towards the water. Never the same one twice. Except for sushi. 

   Clothing sales as you move towards the pounding heart of traffic lights and beeping cars. Malls of stale air and clashing stores. Further away, niche boutiques and trendy wear eat away at your bank statement.

   You avoid the east. The used needles that sleep beside someone who is not all there at the moment. The transactions that take mere seconds, switching hands as fast as they greet each other. And after dark, the knives that flash.

   The buildings sigh downwards as you move north. Trees overtake the ground. Houses  coexist among them, each with pet plants growing, well manicured and obedient. Here you hear the children playing, the dogs barking. Occasionally the complaint of a hungry cat.

   Vehicles grunt their way up the steep roads. Colourful shoes flash as joggers and cyclists challenge the slopes. Up and up, until the forests swell, ripe with bird calls, dainty hooves, and snuffling snouts. 

   And the mountains overlook with the fondness as the city spreads like competing children. At the buildings that covet the watery view and the bright colours of the sun’s extremes.

   As light fades, the clouds, in a rare moment of kindness, may choose to reveal the sky’s solemn sentries that dot the darkness in a slow, rotating guard. The city lights glimmer like a dying fire’s embers. It’s warm, and if you could, you would reach out and touch it.

—-

A fun Friday challenge by OM to describe any city in less than 1 000 words. I decided to describe my city, Vancouver. Has anyone ever visited before? Can you relate?