The moon ate my oatmeal and then spit it out. I watched from the window, grasping the nearest kitchen utensil. My eyes burned.
“Who made this mess?” She questioned in a loud voice when she came into the kitchen and saw the oatmeal spilled all over the kitchen table and on a good portion of the floor.
“It was the moon, mami. She came in through the window, ate my oatmeal and then spit it out.” The small boy answered trying to inflict
assurance to his statement.”
“So it was the moon, eh?”
“Yes mom. It was the moon. I put my dish with the oatmeal on the table and then I saw a bright light that almost burned my eyes. Then I watched from the window and saw the moon coming closer and closer. I didn’t know what to do and then I grasped the nearest kitchen utensil so to defend myself.”
“Is that so. And then what happened?”
“Well, then the moon came into the kitchen and, for sure, she was very hungry, for she went immediately to the oatmeal on the table and ate it all in one single swallow… but she didn’t like it and spit it out. Then she got angry and took off as fast as a bullet leaving behind this mess.”
The mother smiled and the small boy went about picking up some of the oatmeal on the floor, convinced that he invented a credible story.
Lando, you made me chuckle.
Jeff, don’t chuckle, Do as the moon did…spit it out.
Completely credible. I think the mother should give the boy points for being so wonderfully creative. What a kid!
That sounds just like something my youngest said yesterday. 🙂 What fun!
The moon ate my oatmeal and spit it out. It landed in the form of 24 inches of snow on Northern Indiana. I am now in the final stages of developing my Lunar Pepto Bismal .
Peanut – wherethehellyoubeen?
Jeff, my friend, I’ve been in the doldrums after my Muse went AWOL. She has decided to return on a limited basis, so my postings are quite short. I am negotiating a new contract with her regarding the number of hours that she must stay in the grey matter above my eyebrows and feed me intriguing and spell-binding ideas. I’ll let you know when or if we reach an agreement.
Ah baloney Peanut! Just get off your keister and start writing! ;o) Or move where there ain’t no snow.
Peanut, don’t ever negotiate with the Muse. I know that by experience.
I hope you continue to write and to stay in contact with the group, with or without the Muse.
I won’t read between the lines, but gee, we miss you. Write when you can and to hell with the rest.
The moon ate my oatmeal and then spit it out. Huh, nothing new there. Moon, that’s what I call my Aunt Pat, not to her face though. She’s shaped like a full moon; her head is ball shaped and even her hands are fat and round. The only things that aren’t round are her little teeth. I don’t know how such a fat person can have such little teeth. I see them when she laughs that phony laugh of hers, ahhahaha . It makes me uncomfortable when she tries out that laugh. Nobody laughs that way. Why anybody does anybody pretend to laugh anyway? You either think something’s funny or you don’t. She could be in the middle of that laugh and whack you.
I don’t like her. She’s always telling somebody how to do or what to do, but when she wants something or has to do something I know that Pop always has to help. Course she’s half blind from the diabetes. That’s another thing. She wouldn’t take any insulin back then. “Not gonna be sticking me with no needles.” Now she can’t see farther than the length of her arm. That why she does things like she did with my oatmeal, she thought it was ricepudden, her words not mine.
So now everybody has to help poor Patti because she’s having trouble doing anything. “It’s the diabetes, don’t you know,” that’s what Granma is always saying. She said the same things about her brother, Lenny the drunk. He’d come back to the house muttering and staggering, and she say. “Oh, don’t mind him he’s been at the stuff, don’t you know,” only she’d say, “Donchaknow.” They all do that, run words together. Another thing I don’t like about them. They’re always hugging and kissing you, but they do it only because they think it’s proper to do. Why do I think that? Look, if you do them a favor, like get them a loaf of bread or take them to a doctor, they try to pay you. I guess that’s so they don’t feel obligated. I do something for one of them; right away there’s a dollar being pushed at me. I get treated like I’m a delivery boy. They can’t just say thanks and sound like they mean it. I dunno. I’ll be glad to get away from here, but on the other hand, you can learn a lot here.
Paul, like your story and I even like your Aunt Pat. You found a very creative angle to the prompt.
Thanks. Those folks are all gone now. I should be able to forget them.
Gee. I think I might live in your neighborhood, with all those special phrases. Love the rant. The kid is honest and passionate, poised for take-off.
The moon ate my oatmeal and then spit it out. I watched from the window, grasping the nearest kitchen utensil. My eyes burned.
I turn on the water tap and a stream of swallowtails flow. I try to catch one with my ladle but all they do was laugh at me. Like she did, telling me she was laughing with me. She laughs no more, but now I do.
I wipe my eyes with my sleeve. See? Tears of laughter. Crimson streaks stain my hands. I gaze at her through pinched eyes, her form immobile on the floor, my tears pooled around her.
I turn again to the moon, and I see him laughing. Is he behaving like a child having an oatmeal tantrum?
When I was a bad boy Mother would swat me with her ladle as I sat captive in the chair. Screaming only made it worse, and I found I could not scream enough. When my screams muted to gurgling sounds, she would pull me to her bosom to suckle and sing the lullaby about the raven and the moon and distant fire, I would stare at the swarm of butterflies tattooed across her puffy breasts and try to catch them.
I kneel and scrape the ladle across her bare chest. Her butterflies don’t respond. I brush away the flies as they dance and flit. They’re not nearly as pretty as the butterflies. I wonder if she’s hungry tonight. I will make another pot of oatmeal.
woooo. Male moon, like the boy/man. Swallowtails from the faucet. Dead mother on the floor. Butterfly tattoos where you breast fed too long. Feeding the dead.
I have to love this because it is surprising, strange, creepy but also touching. woooo.
Jeff – I really like this one!
Have you ever read any Chuck Palahniuk? He wrote “Fight Club” “Survivors” and few others. I am reading “Haunted” now. This book reminds me of your style. Dark, a little twisted, but still very engaging.
Thanks, Walter. No I haven’t read him. So many words to read. Such little time left! Jeff
Time keeps on ticking, ticking, ticking… Into the future.
I checked it out in the library, the electronic version. That way if I can’t finish it or don’t like it I don’t cry all that long.
The smell of oldness permeates my nose as soon as I pass through the handicap-automatic door to the lobby. Signing in at the front desk to see my own mother forces me realize that she is not living in her beautiful home anymore.
I found this place after months of research and interviews. It has to be one of the top eldercare facilities in Southern Florida. But it still carries the stigma of an old peoples home to me. Walkers parked outside the dining room. A uniformed attendant rushing a wheelchair down the long hall toward the bank of elevators. It looks like a fine hotel at first, but after just a few minutes, the sights, sounds, and odors dispell that illusion.
I head for Mom’s apartment on the third floor, magazines in hand. I’ve tried to get her to use an Ipad, but at ninety-two, she resists anything new. Macular degeneration has sucked out all of the light to her left eye, and the bright screen of an Ipad with its ability display fonts as big as thirty-four points can be a game changer for her. But she demands that I pick up her choice of paper weeklies every Monday, and hand deliver them to her room. Did I say room? I mean apartment.
I knock gently.No answer.
“Mom?” I repeat, hoping she will recognize my voice this time. I ring the bell. Still no response. I walk to the elevator and pick up the phone that waits on a small table there.
“Hello, I wonder if I can get some staff help at apartment 308? My mother is not responding to my knock or the doorbell. Sure, I will wait for him there.”
Jose uses his master key to open the thick wooden door, and motions for me to enter. Mom is sitting at her small kitchen table. She has oatmeal spilling down on her gown, and onto the floor. She does not look up as I enter.
“Mom,” I say gently, “What happened here?”
“The moon ate my oatmeal and spit it out,” she whispered, “I watched from the window.”
Grasping the nearest kitchen utinsil, my eyes burn, as I fight back the tears.
“Who are you?” she asks looking up at me with her dark vacant eyes.
Gale: good description of how an eldercare facility, looks, feels and smells for, years ago, we have to take my wife’s mother to one of them and I know it was exactly as you wrote it.
Emotional and tender story.
Yes , what Lando says is true. You have to be there to know it, and even then you don’t know it. You feel it but you don’t know it. Soon my brother will be making an exit thanks to a malignancy in his brain. The fine violin will be silent the conservative humor missing but we did have fun, didn’t we? Why can’t we just get on the damned bus and go ?
Stunning. Topical. Tragic. True. How creative you are to turn that odd challenge into this story about what so many of us struggle with.
Gale, so heartfelt and true. You have awakened memories of my Mother and her days at the elder warehouse. I will forever regret that I couldn’t do anything to keep her from that experience. I know she has forgiven me, but I wonder if I can do the same. Beautiful post, Thank you my friend.
The elder warehouse.That pretty much sounds like my bus stop. Ain’t nuthin you, me, or anyone else could have done. Don’t be wearing the guilty coat anymore. It’s how we learn compassion. The tragedy is that we learn the virtue later than we should.
Thanks to all for your kind words. I succeeded in touching a few hearts, I see . Great satisfaction in that. And great sadness.
I have revised my story using the prompt as an inspiration, not word for word.
Not for the faint of heart.
You’ve been cautioned.
(But you are going to read it anyway, aren’t you?)
The moon ate my oatmeal and then spit it out.
From the kitchen window I watch it laughing at me. My eyes burn tearful, and I wipe them with my sleeve. Crimson streaks stain my shirt. My hands. I turn the water faucet and a stream of butterflies flow like a rainbow of confetti. I try to catch one, but they escape.
I gaze at Mother through squinted eyes, her form barely moving on the floor. My tears pool red around her. I look in the mirror. My face is covered with butterflies. They make me happy and I smile.
When I would not eat, Mother would swat my cheeks and lips with a wooden spoon as I sat strapped to my chair. Screaming only made her angrier, but it excited me, and with each whack of the spoon I could not scream loudly enough. When my screams muted to gurgling sounds and my limbs constricted atrophic, she would lick my tears and kiss my swollen cheeks, pull me to her bosom and sing the lullaby about the raven and the moon and distant fire. I would stare at the swarm of butterflies tattooed across her puffy breasts, and clutch at them with my curled fingers trying to catch them.
I walk to my mother and kneel. Oatmeal dribbles from her lips and down her chin. Her screams have diminished to muted gurgles. With a razor blade and care I cut around the one remaining butterfly, red and purple and yellow, and slice it from her breast. I look again in the mirror and stick the butterfly on my cheek among the others, and I smile.
I am now as pretty as my mother.
Mr. Jeff, I found your piece to be esoteric, abstruse, sub-realistic and imaginative.
Of course, than in addition to the fact that it’s a beautiful and great story.
Butterflies coming out of the faucet?? WOW!
You know me. I’m only good for one.
La Crainte de l’Orbe Rouge
Traduit du Français
16, Septembre, MDCCCLV
The moon ate my oatmeal* and then spit it out. I watched from the window, grasping the nearest kitchen utensil. My eyes burned. In the distance, a wolf issued a baleful howl.
The satchel of silver Minié ball sat atop the counter, empty, whilst wisps of clouds, like the black smoke wrought of Hephaestus himself, passed before the blood red face of the orb which seemed to drip with humours sucked from the living below.
And of the wolf? Where there was one, another was certain to be found, and thusly, in great packs they ply their miserable trade, using the approach of a few, or one, to befuddle their pitiful prey. And so it is scarcely a wonder that the howl, be it wind or wolf, chills the blood and quickens the heart in equal measure to the beating of the drum, or the roar of the cannon.
“Chose now then, oh moon, to defile the Creation as fate has seen fit to place the power upon you, or, retreat and die as all moons have, and all moons will, in the waning minutia of time. A mere sliver, lost upon an ocean of straw.”
By course, I no longer trembled before this moon or its forsaken beast. I stood at my gate, rapier in hand, ready to thrust upon it as the cat would have a mouse. “Your time is at its end,” I shouted, “All is as foretold by the prophets of the sun. The day is resurrected! Pale and gaunt shall you depart the field of our battle. Victoire sera le mien!”
I ate a piece of cheese, and then spit it out. As I watched from the kitchen window, I placed my dagger back in its drawer. My eyes saw clearly. In the distance, the clock in the Abby heralded the dawn.
*alimentaire d’avoine – sometimes translated as “Life giving sustenance from the field of grain”
I’m not sure I can keep up. I did translate the Roman Numerals into 1855. The phrasing is almost Shakespearean, but I’m not enough of a scholar to recognize the quotes. You have to clue us in. I did like the way the beginning and end brought us back to a more recognizable reality, although the Abby remains unidentified. You never cease to surprise.
OFF TOPIC…….EASTER BLESSINGS
The Scarecrow and the Cross
Consider for a moment the Scarecrow, a farmer’s comrade in arms. This “hay-man,” when fastened to a pole, arms out-stretched and placed in an open field, serves as a deterrent to birds from disturbing and feeding on seeds and growing crops. This utilitarian decoy has been frightening foul for centuries upon centuries solely on the power of its appearance. I find it intriguing that this totally benign effigy works so effectively. Most birds never challenge the authority of the straw mannequin; they just blindly accept his threat of impending doom.
It would be easy to judge the birds for their lack of courage if we humans weren’t equally intimidated by the “Scarecrow Effect.” We have allowed the harbingers of fear to dominate our lives to the point of complete saturation. Just like the birds, we believe that peril will befall us if we don’t heed their warnings.
My favorite character in “The Wizard Of Oz” is the Scarecrow played by Ray Bolger. He wanted to ask the Wizard for a brain. When Dorothy encountered him for the first time, she ask him how he could talk if he didn’t have a brain.
He replied, “Many people without brains do an awful lot of talking.”
Regrettably, way too many of these empty-headed talkers work for cable news channels and in Washington, D.C.
Now consider for a moment another figure of a man, arms out-stretched and nailed to a cross, whom the Romans also intended to serve as a fearful deterrent.
But God, out of His abundant love for you and me, made sure the crucifixion of Jesus Christ had the exact opposite effect. Christ on the cross would forever symbolize redemption, salvation, comfort, unending love and everlasting life.
I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
May each of you have a blessed Easter.
While most times you make me laugh out loud, today you made me cry. Well, I’m a softie, but don’t tell anyone. I’m going to sing that song to myself now. I’m not religious, but I do appreciate the idea that we all matter.
The moon ate my oatmeal, then she spit it out.
I watched from my window, too amazed to shout.
My spoon hung limply in my hand
I finally whispered, “I’ll be damned.”
My eyes began to burn
That moon began to turn
then she screamed
“DON’T EVER PUT CINNAMON IN MY OATMEAL AGAIN, PUNY HUMAN!”
Maureen, your poem is short, sweet and funny. Perfect combination.Good piece!
LOL, fun take on the prompt. Good job, Jeff
That damn moon! So sassy. I sure love a good rhyme. Thanks!
You are all so out of my league but what a place to come for a really good read: the kid, the butterfly tattoo, the blood, yet another elder care observation, ‘Elder warehouse’ (is that where I work?), Ann’s insights. Thank you all. Who needs the Sunday papers? HAPPY EASTER TO ALL.
The moon ate my oatmeal
and then spit it out
grabbed the spoon from the bowl
and flung it about
the milk on the table
was deemed next to go
it puddled together
like patches of snow
an orange is tasty
picked straight from the tree
but loses its goodness
when dripping from me
a puree of chicken
sometimes tastes alright
a puree of chicken
looks gross on the light
so we get what we can
in your little mouth
and everything else
goes all over the house
and so little moonbeam
let’s trundle to bed
you don’t make it easy
to keep you well fed
Darling and true.
Gary like your poem including the puree of chicken which I never had nor do I wanted to taste it.
You have shown your broad range to write about anything and everything.
funny and sweet!
It was always the mashed peas that got me. How horrible and green, oozing between their fingers or shooting out their nose.
Good rhyming job, Gary!
Now I know what the two fingers mean in your photo icon. You’re asking for a cease fire. Give little moonbeam a pat for me, and thanks for the rhyme.
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by Ann Linquist
Available in paperback or on Kindle