A state of being

Charli Mills has another prompt.

This week we are going to let our stories be. January 7, 2015 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that describes a moment of being. It can be practical, such as what it’s like to be a traveler on a crowded plane or a working parent trying to get breakfast served. It can be reflective, such as what it’s like to experience prejudice or a pilgrimage. It can be silly, scary or surreal.

It has become customary for me to ramble on a little using the prompt not only to stir up a 99 word piece of flash fiction but explore a memory, maybe, or to wander philosophical as a cloud around some daffodil perhaps.

This week, though, being in the moment is the antithesis of my usual hithering and thithering.  I’m flitting to other moments, pulling in strands of here and tendrils of there and finding tenuous and rather feeble links between them. Certainly not just being in any moment let only THE moment.

See, I’m really not a great one for dwelling any more than I am for planning. There’s a reason why I don’t plan if I can avoid it: that’s because, as I have explored here before, I’m generally on the klutzy side of incompetent. Today as an example, I’m trying to book a flight. Should be easy, only I very nearly booked it to and from the wrong airport. The Vet stopped me. Or between us we stopped the other, tbf. She has my genes after all.

So I just sort of flow and hope.

Unlike Mary, in my flash. Poor soul, when will she get a break? C’mon, can’t we have a ‘write a happy’ prompt for the poor dear?!

Here’s this weeks (and here’s the link to the back story).

I am Mary

Mary studied the grains in the table top, like they contained a hidden message; if she concentrated hard there would be some explanation for the whys and whens that pushed at the inside of her head, thoughts like a drowning child clawing, scratching desperate to find a way out. The clock slipped silently into an uncertain future. What had the policemen found? Were they human remains? Surely they were just long forgotten pets? Couldn’t they just tell her that? If she knew that she could work on another thought.

‘Mrs North. Can we take a swab? For DNA testing?’


About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published three anthologies of short stories and a memoir of my mother. More will appear soon. I will try and continue to blog regularly at geofflepard.com about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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20 Responses to A state of being

  1. This is fantastic. I love this scene so much with the clock and Mary studying the table as if it would help her figure out what’s going on. I felt like I was sitting at my dining room table, listening to the ticking clock (the one that’s always annoyed me for its reminder that I’m “wasting time”) trying to figure out how the newest, unpleasant situation will play out. The last line is brilliant. I just love this flash all around.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Annecdotist says:

    Great! This is Mary being very much in the moment, we can really feel as if we’re waiting with her to be put out of her misery. Where will you and Charli take her next?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Norah says:

    Being could have been a happy state had you so chosen but it’s not time for Mary to be happy. It just wouldn’t have worked. I love this anxious waiting. Your readers are waiting too. But asking for her DNA, now there’s a little clue. I don’t think it’s got anything to do with the dog though! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Poor Mary. What new relatives will this turn up or will she find out something even more catastrophic? Time waits for no man but I guess we have to wait until next week.


  5. Cindi says:

    Intriguing. Now I’m heading to the back story, to catch up on what I missed during my two-month blog absence! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Charli Mills says:

    Flow and hope…that’s a good state of being. But, alas, I don’t sense much flow and hope from Mary. In her subdued state at the table you have created sharp tension from her state of being and some really beautiful writing–the grains of wood, drowning child, slipping clock. Why do I think that if you had a prompt like “Find Mary’s Happy Place” you’d manage to take her deeper down the rabbit hole? Brilliant writing. I love Mary’s resiliency to all you put her through. And handsome photo of Dog!


    • TanGental says:

      I needed Dog to counterpoint the gloom of the piece. And I wanted to practice adding pictures to comments. And you are probably right, I’d only subvert a happy prompt, like the devil in Bedazzled


  7. Pingback: Be in the Moment « Carrot Ranch Communications

  8. Yvonne says:

    Well, this is intriguing. I’ve obviously missed a few posts with Mary in the starring role, but on this stands on its own anyway.

    ( I wrote that part of this comment yesterday and then went off to finish my post so that I could give you some info and invite you to 1000 Voices Speak For Compassion. And that was yesterday. Isn’t WordPress clever that it can keep a comment tucked away for anther day!) And I am so glad you found us anyway and have joined. Thank you.


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