Daily Prompt: Weaving the Threads

Draft a post with three parts, each unrelated to the other, but create a common thread between them by including the same item — an object, a symbol, a place — in each part.

June 1944.

The house was burning rapidly. The inferno of flames and smoke was growing and spreading like a hungry creature ready to devour everything that stands in its way.

–  Come on Moira, we need to get out of here. Quick, before there is no way out. – Moira’s mother pulled on the child’s hand and went for the nearest staircase.

–  Wait Mom. I left my book. – The small face furrowed in distress.

–  No honey I have it in my bag. I remembered to grab it. – Moira’s mother smiled slightly patting the patchwork bag slung over her shoulder. Inside was a small square book bound in red leather and finished with golden letters. Her daughter’s small fairy tale booklet. The last gift Moira received from her father before he departed for the war. He was in Europe, in Normandy. They would wait for him, as long as it takes.

The mother and child left the house just in time. Behind them the debris fell with an ominous hiss of fire.

***

July 1969.

Julie was intently looking at the silver screen of the TV, that her father bought especially for this moment. He never believed much in this new technological devices. Said it spoiled people. Good, old newspaper and radio were enough to get him his daily portion of information. But this was something entirely different. This they had to see with their own eyes.

Julie palmed the small red book with golden letters nervously. It always calmed her down. The book had the most beautiful fairy tales and was bound in a beautiful red leather. Julie, even though she was a teenager at the tender age of sixteen, still liked to read the fairy tales. She squeezed the book a little harder gazing fixedly at the screen. The astronaut was about to make the final step.

–  That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind. – echoed the blurry voice of the man that, for the first time in history, set foot on the Moon.

***

August 2009.

Amanda let out a puff of smoke and threw out the finished cigarette outside the window. She immediately lit up the new one. She intended to finish the whole pack tonight. Because tonight she was both celebrating and mourning. Tonight she was finally a free woman.

After a long battle Amanda won in court and her beast of a husband could harm her no more. She got a divorce and court gave her the custody of the two small girls. She stubbed the cigarette and walked through the long corridor to her daughter’s bedroom. Dim pink light fell around their beds from a star shaped light attached to the wall. She looked at her children’s peaceful faces and new it was worth it.

Her eyes fell on the little red book with golden letters. She found solace in those fairy tales, so different then her own life at the time. The fairy tales from her old book were a favorite bed time story of her two little girls. Amanda was glad that she was able to read it to them, time and time again. After all the little worn book was in their family for generations.

A silent witness to many stories, tears and joys.

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Daily Prompt: Say Your Name

Write about your first name: Are you named after someone or something? Are there any stories or associations attached to it? If you had the choice, would you rename yourself?

Photographers, show us  YOU.

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The picture is just a fragment of me, an important one but only one part out of many.

As for my name… My mother named me Marta because she liked the sound of it. There is no interesting story to it. I wasn’t named after anyone in my family. In fact I think I may be the first to carry that name.

After Wikipedia: Hebrew meaning: “the lady”. Roman meaning: dedicated to Mars. Also known to mean “Lady-Like” and “Strong” in Armenian.

My father of course had to throw his two cents in so he added another name and thus on all official papers my full name is Marta Margaret.

Do I want to change my name? Well, when I was young I thought that it would be cool to have some interesting name and not one that sounds so old and boring. However, with time I realized that my names is one of the gifts my mother gave me, and that she had the biggest right to name me. After all she gave birth to me and raised me with all her love. I am grateful to her, both for the name and for being the best parent a child could have.

Daily Prompt: Bittersweet Memories

You receive a gift that is bittersweet and makes you nostalgic. What is it?

It is a delicate, thin, gold watch I inherited after my ancestors. It was passed down in my family for generations. Girls were given this gold watch, while boys received a round, silver pocket watch. Why watches? Who knows. I suppose back in the days, when there were no other means of telling time watches have been a useful device and not only a fancy jewelry as it is nowadays. Back then people actually took pleasure in looking at the silent face of a watch, that more often than not had its own history.

Just looking at the watch makes me nostalgic as I think of all those women before me that wore the watch. I sometimes sit down, take one of the old family photo albums and look at their faces. I look at the pictures and try to imagine their lives, history, secrets.

The watch also reminds me of my family’s history. I think of my ancestors running away from the bitter, deadly snows of Siberia and am grateful that they made that big leap and decided to look for a better life in central part of Europe. I admire their bravery, resolution and will to survive.

The watches are my family’s heirloom, part of our history. They serve as a memento of another life, in not so good times, somewhere on the cold edge of the map.

The smell of summer…

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Summer smells of the sun and warm rays that caress my face.

Summer smells of flowers that bow heads in the gardens around my grandparents home.

Summer is the linden that scratches my window panes when moved by the soft gust of wind.

Summer is the smell of freshly baked cake by my grandmother’s the loving hands.

Summer is the smell of grease from my grandfather’s workshop.

Summer is the warm surface of the balcony I lay on dreaming.

Summer is the laughter of my childhood friend’s, the games and first stolen kisses.

Summer smells of friendship, love and my favorite time of the year – vacation at my grandparent’s country cottage.

Daily prompt from: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=619484078078917&set=a.599260846767907.1073741825.175634409130555&type=1&relevant_count=1.

Who loved more?

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A.’s mother was a very distant person. Not only from her daughter but also from her husband, parents, relatives. The only thing she seemed to care about were pretty clothes, jewelry, furs, make up kits, and of course reputation. Reputation was everything to her. She wanted to be admired, she wanted to shine, to stand out and absorb everyone’s attention. She was sure she was worth more than being a mere mother hen and a stay at home wife.

She and A. never saw eye to eye. Where her daughter was more relaxed she was tensed, where A. couldn’t care less, her mother was on her toes trying to look the best. It was always quite a wonder, how two such different personalities could be related. Let alone be a mother and a daughter.

It wasn’t any better with A.’s father. An overachiever if you ever so one. Workaholic, alcoholic and occasional gambler. He locked himself in his studies more nights than not, working, drinking, thinking… Barred from his family by a wall he built himself. And he was content with it. As long as A. didn’t get into trouble and he didn’t have to be ashamed of her, she could do whatever she wanted. He simply didn’t care enough. His work was his baby. He devoted himself to it unconditionally.

So the answer to the prompt is: neither of her parents loved A. the most. But that is not where the family ends, right? It does not even end with blood. There are people in this world that care for us gratuitously, not because they are tied to us by etiquette or blood.

A. had lots of people who cared for her and showed her love. She grew up good. She grew up strong. And despite being left alone by her parents, she was never in fact lonely.

Daily prompt from: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=619013948125930&set=a.599260846767907.1073741825.175634409130555&type=1&relevant_count=1.