Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Write at the Merge: The Prop

propeller

All Edna Wilton had ever wanted to do was go somewhere.  Anywhere.  Feel the suns of distant cities bronze her skin.  She made plans. Visited travel agents and acquired brochures, charting courses between home and the exotic locations laid out on glossy pages.  She even collected a shelf's worth of foreign language books, learning how to ask for coffee in a dozen different tongues.  And all the while, after seeing friends off on their adventures, Edna stayed behind, watching cats and watering plants.

Those plans of hers.  For one reason or another, fate never seemed to be on Edna’s side. Too little money, not enough time.  Conflicts of schedule, and interest.   She finally gave up, waving a white flag of defeat, while unfairly, everyone else she knew seemed to be waving goodbye.

When, by chance, Edna saw the ship’s propeller, she knew she had to have it.  Salvaged off of an ancient, well traveled freighter, and now resting heavily in the dirt, just inside the chain linked boundary of a junk yard fence, the cost to have the massive fan-like piece of steel and aluminum alloy delivered and deposited in her back garden was about equal to what she’d paid for it.  But then again.  No price was too high for so tangible an artifact that represented every sea Edna hoped to sail, every shore she’d ever pictured herself setting foot upon.

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Edna likes to sit beside her propeller, and touch the blades. Imagining the possibilities, when hardened metal and salt water come together.  It’s the stuff of dreams.

 

 

writing prompt

Phonaesthetics — the pleasantness or unpleasantness of words without concern for the meaning. This week, one of your offerings is the phrase “cellar door”. “Cellar door” is considered a perfectly euphonic phrase, some say the most beautiful in the English language.

And, propeller.

image courtesy of Thor Carlson (via Flickr Creative Commons)

Image courtesy of Thor Carlson (via Flickr Creative Commons)

So “cellar door” and a propeller… use either or both to craft your piece. Happy writing!

25 comments:

  1. Aww, so sweet and sad at the same time! So many people have dreams that never get realized due to other circumstances. But sounds like in the end she made a happy compromise :)

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  2. Thanks Tammy! I have a friend from high school who had such dreams, and they were dashed one by one. In spite of that, she found compromise, and her own way to happiness, too. People like her inspire me.

    And Tammy-a big hug for all of your wonderful comments! :)

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  3. oh you do know how to stir my own imagination. I would love to be sitting on that propeller and feeling the cold metal and dreaming of what may have been also. Great writing. B

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    1. Thanks, dear B! I don't have a propeller, but I do have things that stir my imagination too. They really are the stuff of dreams:) Thanks for reading this!

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  4. Travel is the thing we are looking forward to in our retirement. We have dreamed about it all our lives. Our health has curbed it somewhat. I could see the propeller being a compromise for her. I still have my hopes.
    Katie atBankerchick Scratchings

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    1. Katie, thank you so much for reading this!

      What a wonderful thing for you guys to look forward to some day! There are many places I'd also love to see. Here's hoping all of your travel dreams come true! :)

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  5. What a poignant piece, but wonderfully realised and crafted. And to use a vast propeller as a talisman of journeys untaken and paths untrod is powerful. Thank you.

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    1. Thanks Thomas! I like how you put it-that the vast propeller is a talisman of journeys untaken and paths untrod! I think that's really beautifully said!!

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  6. Oh how I feel for Edna. I'm glad she found her propeller.

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  7. How bittersweet! I'm glad Edna found some satisfaction in the end.

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  8. Lovely and sad. I'm glad that her imagination can take her to the places she's never been.

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    1. Thanks Megan! Imagination is critical to survival sometimes:)

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  9. So, so well told. These lines: But then again. No price was too high for so tangible an artifact that represented every sea Edna hoped to sail, every shore she’d ever pictured herself setting foot upon. Awesome particularly when mirrored by what she actually does with the propeller! Stellar work my friend!

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    1. Jennifer, as always, I am so grateful when you read and comment! I really am honored!!

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  10. ...absolutely visceral in feeling, the touching of the hard metal, juxtaposed against the saltwater...one can almost feel the deep droning of an engine at sea in the floorboards beneath one's feet. Beautiful!

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    1. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Dawn!!

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  11. I liked how you ended this one. The image of Edna sitting beside the propeller and touching it's blades was so poignant. You captured this character and her desires in so few words, it amazed me. Well done and thank you for sharing your writing. I do love to read it:~)

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    1. Sara, thank you! I appreciate that! I've tended to collect objects all my life as touchstones for my dreams. No propeller as yet, though;)

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  12. An artifact of unrealized dreams! How bittersweet, but beautifully written.

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  13. Poor Edna, but in the end, she has her own "dreamcatcher". Beautifully written, Valerie.

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  14. Thanks Renee! And I love the idea of a "dreamcatcher." Very fitting!!

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  15. Another fantastic story Valerie! Edna is a great character that you were able to give such depth and, at times, sadness to in just a couple of paragraphs! Bravo! I would love to hear more about Edna!

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