My brother, the Fisherman

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    My brother and I use to fish the rivers to the north. We would make a day of it, waking before dawn and driving up in the mountains that further delayed the sun’s rise. The fish are more fierce there, my brother once explained to me when I was young. I had believed him, because to a young child, anything that could survive under the ice of frozen rivers and lakes were more than just a little awe inspiring.
    I remember the peace that would come over my brother as he cast. The natural ease in the motions spoke of his devotion to the craft, and it always motivated me to try harder with my own casts. I could never make the line dance like my brother, but he would always smile at my attempts. He always took the time to teach me, to slow down my eagerness to throw the line as far as it could fly. Through his patience I learned so much. Continue reading

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The Infinite Sadness of Yearning for the Past

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Although she could look to the horizon and see the protective hills of her childhood, the yearning did not ease. Fifteen years of absence, spent in denial and indifference, reversed with a smile from an unexpected source. The ill feelings towards those that had forgotten her suddenly ceased, and the longing for the familiar returned. She realized, as she watched her once family, now strangers, she yearned for what once was, not what now is. The pain of loss, another great patriarch of the family, returned to the ground, weighed heavily on her heart; but the revelation that she missed those she had spent so much time resenting, crushed her soul. 

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The Weeping of the Willow

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     “Why does the willow weep?” the girl asked her mother, blue eyes shining with curiosity. Her mother’s lips curved into a knowing grin and looked to the tree, as if visiting a distant memory. The girl looked to the tree as well, eager for an answer to her question. The girl tugged lightly at her mother’s hand hanging at her side. “Is it sad, mommy?”
     The mother knelt to her daughter’s height and brushed light-brown bangs back from the round face of her child. Nodding, she replied, “Yes my dear, the willow is sad. And that is why it weeps.”
     The girl furrowed her brow and looked to the tree, then back to her mother, “But why is it sad?”

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Navigating Nostalgia

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“When the word ‘Nostalgia’ was coined in the 18th century, it was used to describe a pathology – not so much a sense of lost time, but a severe homesickness.”

-Nicole Krauss

I was born into the fifth generation of my father’s family, in a small valley in Idaho. Nestled at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, I always felt a sense of wonder at the enormous peaks to the north, and the dry desert to the south. I knew our humble five acres like the back of my hand, and the surrounding farmland was my personal playground.

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Testing for Sheep

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Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt: Test
Via Daily Post

 

     The safety pin pierced her lip without objection. The sensation of the needle pressing into her finger cued her of success; her lip numbed from a trip to the dentist earlier that day removed the potential for a pain hurdle. The mirror reflected the small, gold pin jutting from her lower lip. Her initial reaction had a tinge of fear, she had never imagined carrying out this type of act before. But as she examined the golden metal and the slight curve of her lips, she realized she was smiling. She was seventeen, she was making a choice, and now she looked pretty bad ass.
     The act of teenage rebellion had resulted in many tests to follow. The first being the fine line of support and discipline from her parents. When her mother noticed her lip for the first time, she had yelled at her daughter to remove it, not to return to the dinner table until she had taken it out. Her daughter missed a meal that night. 

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Tempting A Response

[Prompt: The story behind how that one random shoe is lying in the road ]

     shoe“I swear, if I have to pull this car over, you kids are going to regret it!” my mother growled from the driver’s seat. I stopped smacking my little brother in the back of the head to glean more information.
     “What are you gonna do when you pull over?” I asked without a shred of respect.
     My mother sighed heavily and glared at me through the rear view mirror, “Tom, don’t push me any further. I mean it.”
     I rolled my eyes and went back to annoying my baby brother. My mom deserved this abuse after embarrassing me in front of all my friends. Being 15 with a driver’s license, my mom had no excuse for pulling into the school parking lot and barking at me to get in the backseat to take care of my brother’s spit up. My defiant glare had prompted her to add a comment about relaying my behavior to my shrink, catching me completely off guard and rousing laughter from my friends and any other person within earshot.

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A Change of Heart

[Prompt: You are a cynical, evil dog who has had many owners. You are adopted by a lovely couple with a toddler. You do not want to be friends with the toddler but somehow you are going to love the toddler ]

 Dog    I hated being caged. Too many times in my short life I could recall being trapped within a metal barrier or clipped to the end of an unbreakable chain. I had also learned what actions resulted in consequences at a young, tender age. Barking out of turn promised a muzzle. Begging for food meant a missed meal. Showing excitement gained a kick in the ribs. Growling ensured the shock collar was put around my thin neck, and any type of eye contact with the human after that point was a memory of immense pain. But I had learned one valuable lesson during my time with my first human: biting meant I got to leave.
     Over the past three years I had resulted to biting four separate times. I had never drawn blood or caused a true injury like the first time, but I used my power to convince the bipeds I should go somewhere else. I had been exchanged between men who wished for a ‘tough looking sonofabitch’, although the sentiment meant nothing to me. 

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