Sarah Ann Hall

Reporting on writing in progress or, more probably, not; practising flash fiction.

OLWG#49 – blessings, deafness and memory

with 11 comments

Hmm, well, I’ve had a time of it coming up with anything for this week’s New Unofficial On-Line Writer’s Guild prompts. I had thought to combine all three into a story, but that didn’t work out. Below is a short vignette that cut itself short with only one prompt utilised. I felt two of the prompts sat well together, hence the American sentence. So that left me one more and, once I decided to stick to short and sweet, the American cinquain wrote itself.

Thank you to TN Kerr for this week’s tough assignment.

 

Blessings

‘It’s a blessing,’ my gran used to say of my wild curly black hair. But she was nearly bald by then, poor lamb.

I, of course, was a teenager with hormones and wanted ironed hair, thick and straight like a curtain. Or to have it all chopped off a la the neo-Fascists, but that was clearly unacceptable. So I put up with it, for the love and pleasure of others.

Now I know Gran was right, for I still have many admirers who follow my progress as I walk anywhere, wondering if it’s real. My hair’s shorter now, bobbed rather than halfway down my back, but no less different and show-offy. It’s a good job I was never terribly shy as people poked and prodded and asked if it was a perm. The cheek!

It is strange to think that we are defined by our hair. Redheads are short-tempered and fiery. Blond(e)s have more fun. The mousey are quiet and ordinary. And us ravenheads? We come from the devil, obviously, and are good for a laugh but not to be trusted.

I don’t have a significant other and I put that down to my hair. The men come and go, cowed by my strong nature and inability to submit to the will of another. The women are wary, as if I might trick them, about or of what I have no idea. I have friends, but they are all from way back when I was a child and didn’t know the power I could wield by the flick or twist of a lock.

It is good I like my own company for I should be lonely and sad without it. Which brings me back to wondering if Gran was right. Is it a blessing to stand out, to be stared at and thought about? It’s not a curse, unless you need to be surrounded by uncomplicated people.

You can tell I have been here many times before, round and round in circles counting my blessings. On one hand.

 

Deafness

It’s a blessing I can’t hear you. You sing like a cat swallowing glass.

 

Memory

Mother

Losing herself.

‘I forget how it goes,’

She says of the words to recall.

Failing.

 

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Written by Sarah Ann

May 12, 2018 at 11:41 am

11 Responses

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  1. I love Blessings. What a great story. I especially like the line about ravenheads coming from the devil. Well done!

    Endless Edits

    May 12, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    • Thank you. I thought Blessings was going to be much longer and more positive, but the character decided to take it another way. Strange how characters can take over what we write, and enthralling when we are pulled a different way.

      Sarah Ann

      May 12, 2018 at 6:45 pm

      • Having the character take over is one of my favorite things about writing.

        Endless Edits

        May 13, 2018 at 2:13 am

      • Mine to, as it can make things easier than trying to mould them!

        Sarah Ann

        May 14, 2018 at 1:31 pm

  2. These are wonderful. Like Endless Edits I too like “Blessings.” But I didn’t know ravenheads came from the devil.. Hmmm?
    My favourite is “Deafness” it conjures us a spectacular image in my mind.
    “Memory,” that’s a sorrowful one. Pulls on the heartstrings.

    Thanks for these

    tnkerr

    May 12, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    • I’m not sure ravenheads do come from the devil. It might just be this one, or complete poetic licence 🙂
      I struggled with Deafness finding a suitable simile in the syllable count. But cat seemed to be the animal to smear – cat gut, cat on a hot tin roof etc. Vixen on heat might have been an alternative on terms of the sound made?
      Unfortunately, Memory is a little close to home with a family member slowly deteriorating. For weeks she has been trying to identify a poem of which she can remember only the first line. Of course, when we said we’d punch it into Google, the line became elusive. Hey ho.

      Sarah Ann

      May 12, 2018 at 6:53 pm

  3. Enjoyed “Blessing” and “Deafness” brought out the screech 🙂

    Eric Alagan

    May 14, 2018 at 3:21 am

  4. I loved blessings. The character really comes across clearly.

    LucciaGray

    May 21, 2018 at 12:46 pm

    • Thank you. I feel I might write more about her in future – I need to delve further into some of these characters that pop up each week.

      Sarah Ann

      May 21, 2018 at 1:17 pm

      • Exactly how do feel with some of my ‘flash characters’ 😍

        LucciaGray

        May 21, 2018 at 2:45 pm


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