A-Z: Mr. Peabody

Everyone knew that Mr. Peabody was living in the old car. It was obvious; all of the signs were there: the mess and the odor.

They tried to evict him for months, but he was an elusive old guy. He stayed in there,  eventually dying in that very car.

They found his little dead mouse body up against the blower motor fan blades.

~McGuffy Ann Morris

Written for a five-line fiction writing prompt, this tale is really a true story.  I named the little deer mouse Mr. Peabody, in part due to the musky smell that lingered in my car. We knew he was there by the little signs of decorating he was doing. I found bird seed in my trunk, though there had been no bird seed put there by us. My Kleenex box was suddenly a fluffy bed for someone very small. The foam under my seat was chewed into a small pile.

We did try to evict Mr. Peabody. I had the dashboard removed to clean out the vents. The car was detailed, twice. I also put repellents put into place. Mothballs, dryer sheets, and citrus-scented objects were put in the places that he frequented, to no avail…until nature took its course. When my air conditioner needed to be maintained and recharged, we found Mr. Peabody, just as my story says. He was then quietly laid to rest.

P

“My Writeful Heart”:
A= Acknowledgments
B= Believe
C= Camouflage
D= The Drought
E= Exist
F= Final Departure
G= The Guardian
H= The Horologist
I= Impasse
J= Joseph
K= Knowing
L= The Loan
M= Mirror
N= Number
O= Ozark

 

A-Z: Ozark

They moved to a mountain to be closer to God,
leaving behind the world with a nod;
no luggage or baggage, no worldly possession,
virtue their only goal of obsession.
Back to basics, souls purified;
their vision of heaven sanctified.
Seeking perfection through self-sacrifice,
surrender their key to paradise.
They welcome others into the fold,
who eagerly believe whatever they’re told.
A preacher, a teacher, a prophet, a sage;
the blending of spirits he hopes to engage.
He calls to all, a message to preach,
their trusting souls in evil’s reach.
He preys upon what they hold dear,
and in their hearts, he strikes pure fear.
“One for all, and all for me;
only my truth will set you free.
Do what I do, do as I say;
the rewards you seek you’ll receive today.”
They didn’t find God in the man on the hill,
they didn’t gain heaven by doing man’s will.
He laid them down in one final control;
his kingdom bought with their mortal soul.

~McGuffy Ann Morris

Life is a journey, a mission of mysteries. We all seek purpose and meaning in our own journey. As a teen, I had friends who left family behind to join communes in hopes of finding a purpose. Some of these communities were of a spiritual nature. Others seemed to attract lost bodies and minds. I was intrigued by the idea of people coming together for common goals. However, I was very cautious about the actual reasons.

It was about this time that the Jonestown tragedy hit the news. There have been other communes that have come to similar catastrophic ends. Ruby Ridge, Waco, and Heaven’s Gate were sadly misguided groups of people who seem to have never found meaning.

I never heard from my friends who set out to find purpose in an unknown community. I hope and pray that they found real answers, and that they are safe in body and spirit.

O

“My Writeful Heart”:
A= Acknowledgments
B= Believe
C= Camouflage
D= The Drought
E= Exist
F= Final Departure
G= The Guardian
H= The Horologist
I= Impasse
J= Joseph
K= Knowing
L= The Loan
M= Mirror
N= Number

A-Z: Number

Call me number,
for I have no name.
The absence of feeling
and thought you proclaim.
A statistic on paper,
I can’t be denied;
facts and answers
are all you provide.
You took what I said
and filed it away,
but it’s only an image
of life you portray.

~McGuffy Ann Morris

This poem speaks to the way we have dehumanized mankind in the name of progress. What was supposed to make life better has essentially diminished the very things that make life worth living. This is something that we cannot reverse, I fear. We must remember the things that make us all human. It matters; we matter.

N

“My Writeful Heart”:
A= Acknowledgments
B= Believe
C= Camouflage
D= The Drought
E= Exist
F= Final Departure
G= The Guardian
H= The Horologist
I= Impasse
J= Joseph
K= Knowing
L= The Loan
M= Mirror

A-Z: The Loan

twenty

 

Jeff had a good thing but didn’t appreciate it. Bob saw a good thing and did.

Bob said, “Let me borrow twenty bucks to take her out on a date.”

Jeff replied, “She won’t go, but if she does keep the twenty bucks.”

He never had to repay the loan.

~McGuffy Ann Morris

This was the first piece of flash fiction that I ever wrote. Poetry has always been a labour of love. It is my agony and ecstasy. Fiction is something I just read…until blogging introduced me to prompts.

I know firsthand how prompts can get your creative energy going. Prompts are great tools. They can be used as exercises when in between pieces, or just as a break from your usual routine. I have several stories that were started but left unfinished. They will eventually become a story or poem.

The Loan was written for a weekly writing challenge. We were to write five lines inspired by a given word prompt. The word prompt behind this story was: awkward. This story came easily because it is true. I am the “she” in the story. The rest is history. In fact, it was the beginning of some great things!

L

“My Writeful Heart”:
A= Acknowledgments
B= Believe
C= Camouflage
D= The Drought
E= Exist
F= Final Departure
G= The Guardian
H= The Horologist
I= Impasse
J= Joseph
K= Knowing

 

A-Z: Knowing

He knew the time was close and asked me to stay with him. I sat and held his hand, as he talked through the dark night.

He told me stories from a life well lived, filled with much experience. At dawn, as he finally closed his eyes, he whispered, “I see it all now. I understand.”

Looking upon his now still and peaceful face, I knew that he did.

~McGuffy Ann Morris

When I worked and volunteered at the Catholic Retirement Home, I did this many times. Sometimes, I was asked to sit with the residents. Sometimes, they could not ask. Then, I did it because I felt they needed someone. It was always an honour and a privilege.

K

“My Writeful Heart”:
A= Acknowledgments
B= Believe
C= Camouflage
D= The Drought
E= Exist
F= Final Departure
G= The Guardian
H= The Horologist
I= Impasse
J= Joseph

A-Z: Joseph

Joseph came to America as a young man and followed the family trade as a cabinetmaker.  He had worked hard all of his life and was proud of his life’s work.

Retired for many years, Joseph now finished a special piece. This was the first piece he ever kept for himself.

Putting away his tools, Joseph was pleased with the results of his craftsmanship. The pine coffer was finished just in time; he was ready for his final journey.

~McGuffy Ann Morris

This was written as an exercise in flash fiction. Joseph is another one of my character-people who needed his story told. I was happy to share him.

J

“My Writeful Heart”:
A= Acknowledgments
B= Believe
C= Camouflage
D= The Drought
E= Exist
F= Final Departure
G= The Guardian
H= The Horologist
I= Impasse

 

A-Z: Impasse

Drifting - Blog

I hear the cry of the mourning dove,
calling my soul to rise above.
I reach for the spirit of the season before,
recalling the dreams held there in store.
All is forgotten, all is for naught.
Impasse is reached; refuge is sought.

~McGuffy Ann Morris

Sometimes no matter what we do, we cannot move forward. Yet, we cannot go back, no matter how we wish it. It is then that we seek refuge, in order to contemplate.

I

“My Writeful Heart”:
A= Acknowledgments
B= Believe
C= Camouflage
D= The Drought
E= Exist
F= Final Departure
G= The Guardian
H= The Horologist

A-Z: The Horologist

pocketwatch

Ivan had been a clockmaker for decades. He could still do it well, in spite of his advancing years. Of course, it was more than that. He fixed clocks of all kinds, too. Ivan even cared for the clock in the town square.

All around his tiny storefront the town had grown. You could hardly call it a town anymore; it was now more of a city. Business wasn’t the same, either. There wasn’t the same call for what Ivan did, as there once was. Yet he continued on, feeling a purpose.

Ivan took great pride in his shop, as well as his craft. He surrounded himself with clocks of all kinds. He had fancy clocks, simple clocks, grandfather clocks, and cuckoo clocks among many others. He had new clocks, but he preferred the old clocks feeling a connection of age with them. He understood them, as if they were his family.

Every morning before dawn, Ivan would rise in his little apartment at the back of his shop. He would wind his pocket watch, and then go about winding each clock in the shop carefully. As he went he would inspect each one. It was important to keep them wound and in good working order. He didn’t do it for sales really, but rather feeling he was doing each one justice. He did his job so they could do theirs.

Finally, Ivan would check the time on his pocket watch once more. He was always careful to open on time; it was important. Sweeping his sidewalk, he would wave to the other shopkeepers. Seeing his familiar, dependable and friendly face, they waved back.

Ivan had clients who had come to him for many years. These days, however, most people usually came in to have their watches repaired or batteries changed. That was fine with him. On a good day, someone brought him a clock to fix. Sometimes they came in just to see his clocks. He liked to tell them about the clocks and their history.

One morning the sign did not turn to “Open”.  People immediately knew this was not like Ivan. His routine was well known, running like proverbial clockwork. He was a fixture as much as the town clock was.

The police were called to assist with a well-check call.  They found Ivan seated at his workbench. A smile on his face, he looked very peaceful they said.  In his hands was his old pocket watch; both now still.

~McGuffy Ann Morris

As with many of my stories, this one came to me wanting to be told. Ivan, with his timely tale, is one of my own favourites. I hope you enjoy his story, too.

H

“My Writeful Heart”:
A= Acknowledgments
B= Believe
C= Camouflage
D= The Drought
E= Exist
F= Final Departure
G= The Guardian