a tale of tails, tenacity, and tedium, as told by me, usually barefoot and bellowing

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

"The Color Of Winter Is Blood Red"

was in a comment by the famous Ninja, author, blogger, friend, Alex Cavanaugh.  It started the wheels turning.  Turning wheels is a malady I can't seem to get rid of so here's the short Alex inspired with his comment.

Cabin Fever

It has been a long, cold winter.  Nothing but white as far as you could see. Even the birds were hiding. The pantries were full. The cabin was warm but that didn't keep the walls from closing in on them.

Yahtzee, five card stud poker, caramel pop corn, roasted marshmallows were all fun the first four days. They pulled out the Sorry game, Chest, Checkers, Dominoes and the S'mores.

Through the windows all they could see were growing drifts of snow.  Relentlessly it fell along with the camp fire fun.

After seven days each has chosen their own corner to read, to pout, to mourn the winter. The vast collection of family fun games had lost their appeal.  It was no longer an opportunity for quality time and was quickly becoming a volatile mix of boredom, claustrophobia, and frustration. 

Chopping the veggies and meat for a inside out warming stew for the evening meal the idea flickered through her thoughts and blinked out as quickly as it came.  

As each day passed the idea grew stronger and visited more often even though she fought it. She fought it with the love of a mother, with the love of a wife and with the love of KNOWING spring would come again.  She just wanted quiet.  No more games.  No more "Let's make the best of this".

She snapped.  The cleaver rose and fell amid screams of disbelief and horror.  Chop! Chop! The Chess was the first to go.  The checkers followed into the fire place.  The Trivia game was slashed and chopped and burned. As the Yahtzee dice bubbled in the roaring fireplace, she turned to her family, cleaver in hand.

Speechless, horrified, they clung to each other wondering, fearing what would happen next. There was no getting through to her.

She turned away opening the pantry and continued the same meticulous cleaving with the condiments that she had previously done with the "Snowed In" must haves.

Was the family next?  The dog?  Where would it stop?  No one thought to wrestle the cleaver from her iron fist...you don't mess with Mamma!

As the cleaver sliced through a jumbo size jar of ketchup, she crumbled, sliding slowly to floor. Cleaver still in hand, covered in blood red, she began to rock back and forth.  At first she mumbled but her voice grew stronger.  She chanted wildly, "NO MORE CHUTES AND LADDERS!  NO MORE CHUTES AND LADDERS!"

Outside the snow began to melt.

18 comments:

Lynne said...

You had me from the start but. . . .
the
Cleaver
Ketchup
Chutes
and
Ladders
REALLY
made
the
short

Karen S. said...

You sure had me sliding in a puddle of blood red all the way through.... I know if the mamma ain't happy, nobody is happy!
Amazing what a thought stuck in our head can do! Great writing Gail.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That was a riot! That game would make me take drastic measures as well. Great story.
I need to leave weird comments more often...

Sandra said...

when she picked up the cleaver i was sure i knew what was coming next but got a big surprise at what she chopped and not whom she chopped.. Bob is out of luck, we have not a single game in the house..

Sketching with Dogs said...

That was brilliant! My heart was in my mouth at the end.
You should write a book of short stories.
Lynne x

Country Gal said...

Awesome a great read this was . Yes you should write a book of short stories ! Thanks for sharing , Have a good day !

Buttons Thoughts said...

Yikes it is cold here too:) It stirs my imagination and a bit of fear for sure:) Great writing.Hug B

A Quiet Corner said...

Yikes is right! Sure it's a tad nippy, but there is always plain, dull, drab brown!...:)JP

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

I think monopoly could also lead to madness :)

Amazing writing! You have an incredible and fascinating imagination.

Linda Kay said...

That's pretty close to how I felt in January and FEbruary when I lived in the north with no sunshine and lots of awful cold. I just didn't snap.

Michelle said...

This is some excellent writing!

Lee said...

That surely is some inspiration! I must remember to run if or when I see you with a cleaver in your hand!! :)

Well done...a descriptive tale told well.

Jacquelineand.... said...

I loved it and identify strongly with that poor Momma...... 'NO MORE CHUTES AND LADDERS!'.

24 Paws of Love said...

I hate board games and I was smiling all the way through!

You have a great imagination!

Sandra Cox said...

That was great!

A Joyful Cottage said...

No, no not the Yahtzee dice!!!!

Susan Anderson said...

What a fun read!

McGuffy Ann Morris said...

Oh...my...I think I might have been there.

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