Two Gulfs (6-Sentence Story)

Prompt: GULF

It had been decades since Bedelia visited the Gulf, though her soul held the sounds and scent of rippling waves gilded by sunlight.

Each year she ordered a calendar featuring beach scenes, silvered shells and bright coral, to liven up her drab kitchen.

These misted-dawn, seaside thoughts were disrupted by a knock at the door.

Peering through a slender slit in the drapery, she hardly recognized the man with gray hair and mustache…she began to tremble, heart beating rapidly out of sync.

How had he found her, and what did he want…perhaps to seek her forgiveness?

She remained still, breathless as a glass figurine, waiting for him to leave the paltry property she could claim as hers, unmarred—the gulf between her ex-husband and herself was forever-far too wide, turbid, and serpent-swirled to wade across.

©Rhen Laird/Cobbled Contemplations, 2020 ~ All rights reserved.


How she adored, ached

To unmask you, clasp your heart

Limerence* abashed

©Rhen Laird/Cobbled Contemplations,  2020 ~ All rights reserved.


noun: limerence; plural noun: limerences
  1. the state of being infatuated or obsessed with another person, typically experienced involuntarily and characterized by a strong desire for reciprocation of one’s feelings but not primarily for a sexual relationship.

Bedelia’s Eccentric Angle (6-Sentence Story Thursday)

Prompt: ANGLE


Bedelia would not open her door…safety first, she spoke with the man through a locked window.

“Ma’am, I mean you no harm, I’m here about your roof—the present angle indicates sagging; if I don’t check it out, it may collapse.”

Her voice, muffled by the double-glazed windows, insisted she’d not phoned anyone regarding the roof.

He fishes a company ID card from his shirt pocket, holds it up against the oval pane in her door (perhaps she’ll recall).

Opening the door slightly, Bedelia frowns him up and down—“You do know, don’t you, that everything tends to sag a bit as time passes…the angle of my roof reflects character, eccentric charm.”

“Ma’am, all due respect—if your roof falls on you, angle of death will cancel charm and character.”

©Rhen Laird/Cobbled Contemplations, 2020 ~ All rights reserved.

Missing or Murdered?

Prompt words:  “She was murdered,” Rabbit says. – Kate Racculia’s Bellweather Rhapsody

The search for a missing woman, reputedly a recluse, had been going on for days.  It was exhausting, frustrating and often boring…but no one would have admitted that aloud, fearful of being quoted in the press, triggering a brouhaha about incompetent, insensitive law enforcement.

A young officer stopped to wipe perspiration from his face, although the area was pleasantly cool.  He turned, hearing steps behind him, nodded to Inspector Rabbit.

“Sir, maybe she chose to disappear—no harm, no foul—even eccentrics have the right.  She might have flown to Costa Rica.”

“She was murdered,” Rabbit says, a stern gravel-voiced seer, perhaps.

(100 words)

©Rhen Laird/Cobbled Contemplations, 2020 ~ All rights reserved.

Alabaster ~ A to Z Challenge

Exquisite alabaster jar

Holds expensive perfume

A woman, disdained for

Immoral reputation, seeks

Jesus as he dines

Wordless, she anoints

His feet with costly fragrance

And her tearful kisses… In

Sweet-spiced aroma swirl

Her reverence, love, gratitude

Mingled with the Lord’s

Gracious mercy…

His public declaration

That her sins are forgiven

Put guest’s censorious

Judgment to shame

©Rhen Laird/Cobbled Contemplations, 2020 ~ All rights reserved.

Luke 7:37, “When a certain immoral woman from that city heard he was eating there, she brought a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume.” New Living Translation

Routine Was Everything

Prompt:  ROUTINE

Routine meant everything to her; dependable, reliable, its structure afforded her a modicum of stability.

Routine provided the illusion of control—which she clearly understood was mere illusion; nonetheless, comforting.

She vigorously denied even a minor degree of OCD; it was simply more sensible to live an orderly life—rather than a haphazard, reckless, adventuresome existence which risked certain calamity.

Pared down smaller than most people’s, perhaps cloistered, her life was manageable (and for the most part, richer than anyone knew) behind the tall invisible walls of privacy and routine.

She shopped for groceries and paid bills at first of month, did her laundry near the end; garbage and recycling were put out on designated days; her quiet activities maintained a satisfying rhythm.

On the final day, her clothes and dishes were all washed and tidied, her few rooms neat; no food was left to rot, the houseplants were watered…and when eventually discovered, her corpse in the closet was described as a “routine” suicide.

©Rhen Laird/Cobbled Contemplations,  2020 ~ All rights reserved.