Flash Fic: Decisions at the End of the World

I stood at the top of the lighthouse on the gallery, leaning against the railing, gazing out to sea. It wasn’t much of a lighthouse. It wasn’t tall enough, nor was it close enough to the water. The sound of the waves against the rocks was muted. I heard the seagulls cry, though, and it tore at my heart.

The lantern room door opened, and Cassiel joined me. “Could you have chosen a more out of the way place?”

“It’s pretty here.”

He gave me an impatient look. “Still woebegone, are we? You’ve been in a funk for decades. Isn’t it time you got over it?” He extended his wings and flashily fluttered the feathers. He was very proud of his wings, probably because it had taken him some time to earn the pure white model, an indication of the highest rank.

Mine were white too, but I kept them tucked away most of the time. “You haven’t heard then?”

“Heard what?” He jumped lightly to the top railing and balanced there on one foot, oblivious to the 100-foot drop that would likely kill a human.

“People are dying today.”

He hopped up and down and changed legs. “People die every day.”

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Moving Update

The books are packed up and will go to a friend’s spare bedroom this weekend. I managed to winnow them down to five boxes, four of which are filled with hardcovers and heavy as hell. Joining them shortly will be a few more boxes filled with things I’m not ready to part with yet.

I almost wish I could afford to rent a storage unit (yes, even those have become far too expensive!) and keep various pieces of décor there. Over the last several decades, I’ve collected a number of things I’m fond of, but of course they won’t fit in the car, and I don’t want to burden my friend with them, plus I’m old, and lifting/carrying is difficult and causes me pain. That’s the main reason why I’m leaving so much behind: I’m simply too old to move it anymore, and I don’t want to waste money paying someone else to do it. And I’d need a place to store it all, which I don’t.

In the end, it won’t matter what I have. I’ll be dead. I keep telling myself that as I carefully pick and choose the things I want to keep.

The hardest thing would be giving up the books, but it’s possible I might if I settle somewhere across the country and never get back for them. In which case the local library will get some really fine material. Also some junk, because I have all the Twilight and Potter books. 😉

I’ve tried selling some of my furniture for extra cash before leaving, but so many people are dumping things, no one’s interested. It’s sad to see so many struggling in an economy that is making rich people even richer.

I did manage to sell my sexy red bike, though. I hope the new owner is enjoying it, because I miss it.

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Flash Fic: House Hunting

We got out of the car and stood on the curb, gazing at the house while the realtor, who’d driven, prattled on about kitchen updates and a finished basement. I was overwhelmed. This was nothing like I’d envisioned. I wanted a smaller place with a cottage feel, or if it had to be big, it should look like Dracula’s vacation home, complete with bats flying around a bell tower.

Brandon was all excited, though. “Isn’t it great? I can’t believe it’s in our price range. When Marci told me about this, then sent me the listing, I thought, ‘This is it. Ellis will love it.”

I didn’t love it, but I loved him, so I smiled and took his hand. “Never hurts to look.” We’d been married a year. You’d think he’d have figured out by now what I liked and what I didn’t. Maybe I wasn’t communicating as clearly and openly as I imagined?

Marci worked the lockbox and key, then led us inside. The living room had a big stone fireplace. That I could easily live with. There was a built-in buffet in the dining room, and as she’d already pointed out, the kitchen was modern and gleaming with stainless steel.

The bedrooms were upstairs. Three of them—boring, boring, and boring. No bay windows, no enticing nooks and crannies, and not one secret passage. We trooped down to the basement, which had been turned into a combination media and game room, complete with pool table which would eventually be totally ignored.

Back in the kitchen, I glanced out the window over the sink. “What’s that?”

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4.26.21: Crested Caracara

I have been chasing this bird since I moved to Highlands County and heard about it being seen here. This morning a friend called and said, “I just saw them on 731 east of the railroad tracks!”

I jumped in the car and drove like mad to get there… only to find they’d already disappeared. I felt cursed. I’ve visited that particular area several times in the last year, looking for them but never seeing one.

After driving back and forth several times, hoping they’d reappear, I gave up and turned for home, deciding to take the back way. I always take backroads if I can, because that’s where you see the best wildlife.

Roadkill draws caracaras like flies to shit. Heh. So I kept watch for dead animals near the road. The first one I saw was being pecked at by crows. I kept going. A few minutes later, I saw another dead beastie and a bird picking at it. I saw a flash of orange as I got closer; paydirt! No other bird that eats dead things has that color.

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4.23.21 News, Observation, and a Flash Fic

If you want to go straight to the flash fic, scroll down.

This morning I ran into the old woman across the street. She’s around ninety, and she’s here, instead of in Indiana with her ailing husband, because she can’t stand the daughter she’d have to live with to be with him. She recently told me a story about how that daughter had locked her mother-in-law into her bedroom at night and wouldn’t let her out even to pee.

I don’t know if I believe her or not. She’s exhibited some odd behavior this last year, along with unexpected outbursts of anger. I suspect her mind’s starting to go, and she most definitely shouldn’t be alone in her house. She has no car and couldn’t drive it if she did. Occasionally a white van shows up and takes her for groceries. She’s here alone because their house has been for sale for a year, and no one has bought it. The subject came up when she asked if I’d sold my place (more about that in a minute).

It’s a gorgeous home, roomy and spacious, and even has a fireplace. The asking price is $33K, and that’s fair. I suspect the problem is that her husband closed the clamshells last year (metal awnings that lower over the windows during hurricane season) before leaving, and they’ve remained that way, making the inside look dark and the outside seem uninviting.

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