Welcome to the Creative Writing Challenge for October
… and the winner, with 16 kudos … @padiho … for the story about finding grandfather’s STUFF in the garden!
November’s topic is PAIN
I hope to get the new threads up by tomorrow ...
Thank you all for your participation in September ! I enjoyed reading your entries.
Thanks also to @american_twin for her suggestion for October’s Challenge: Stuff
She has been seeing advertisements in her social feeds for a performance at Birmingham Rep of “Stuff” which is based on testimonies of hoarders, and thought it was appropriate for our situation trying to get rid of 22 years’ worth of clutter.
As @serving_n_a_j and I are still trying to declutter our flat (and struggling) I thought it was a splendid suggestion.
Remember to keep only entries in this thread, and put any Comments in the Comments thread:
Everyone is welcome to submit an entry in this thread. Feel free to interpret the theme however you want!
Please keep your entry under 1500 words if possible.
If you submit an entry written by someone else please give proper credit and acknowledgements.
There are no prizes, but the winner will be chosen as usual on the basis of ‘kudos’ received by the end of the month.
Looking forward to reading your entries this month!
Tim, what are you doing?
Oh just stuff he said
Tim, what did you have when you came in?
Oh, just stuff he said as he put a box under his bed
When Tim was out his dad snuck a peek
He pulled the box from under the bed
As he slowly opened the lid
Out crawled some caterpillars, in blue, green and red
Tim, why do you have a box of caterpillars under your bed?
That's my stuff keep out he said
He got flustered and annoyed
But then a thought crawled though his head
It's a good job it was only that box he found
And the frogs didn't make a sound
So he thought all was ok it was just the bed
And his dad didn't check the box in the wardrobe instead!
(Edited as I caught the post button when trying to scroll on my phone)
Stuff is an interesting word! My son used to eat candies in the living room and stuff the empty wrappers under the couch. That same son would work half a day with me raking leaves in the front yard and help by stuffing the leaves into large black garden bags. My older son was very athletic, he played them all, and actually set records for his ability to stuff the basketball in the hoop during the game. My younger son also played sports, favouring football, where he would stuff all his football gear and other stuff into his gym bag, then stuff all that smell sweaty stuff into the washer after a game.
On the weekends we would go to the store to buy food stuff. The kids always had an idea there was a lot of other stuff we needed to buy as well. For example my older son was in a sewing class in high school, hence he needed to buy all the stuff necessary to make a stuffed toy, which he promptly stuffed away in a drawer already very full of other stuff.
The boys dad was an over the road truck driver, and on occasion, he would bring the boys home some interesting stuff. Cotton balls, from a field in Mississippi, salt from the salt flats in Utah, but without fail he would stuff two weeks of laundry into a duffel bag and drop it in front of the washing machine for me to sort thru and wash, dry and repack, so the process of being used and stuffed could be repeated.
Me, well, I am really not a big fan of stuff, as my sentimentality lies more in feelings and memories. That does not however mean I am not a stuffer. All the horrible memories of an abusive child hood, stuffed down deep inside. The memories of a twenty year bad marriage, stuffed in the same place. I used to be a smoker and when I would experience a negative, scary, sad, or angry emotion, I would light up. Later I realized I used a cigarette to help me swallow down whatever feeling I should have been expressing and just keep it stuffed inside. Thankfully I gave up cigarettes, and gave up stuffing negative feelings.
At this time in my life, I work at concentrating on all the good stuff. There will always be stuff we need, stuff we throw, stuff that we cannot remember where we came by it, however, the stuff that really matters in this world is to be true to yourself, kind to your fellow man and to get to know who you are, and why all the stuff that has happenned to you in this life has helped create the masterpiece that you really are. When we can do that, that is truly the stuff dreams are made of!
The ads tell you you all you need is this one thing
What they really mean is you need one thing more
So we’re waiting on the parcel that is coming
And then we will be happy, we’re so sure
All the stuff we have it makes us feel important,
It identifies the person who we are.
In things we own we hope to find fulfilment;
Big house, labelled clothes, the shiny car.
But if all we own is swept away by water
Or life twists possessions out of our control
Or on the day we finally meet our maker
Will he think the stuff truly reflects our soul
I wonder if it’s the stuff that He will cherish
Or the way we’ve treated people in our path
Will people say ‘what she owned had value’
Or ‘my life is better because she walked this earth’ ?
I know what impact I’d like to leave when I’m gone,
Not things, or plastic in the sea.
I’d like people to feel their lives had added value,
In some small way, perhaps, for knowing me.
My darling Jake,your wicked right through
Just stand in the ring is all I ask of you
Your ears should be up and your tail should be down
All you want to do is act like a clown
I have tried different ways to make you see sense
I've loved you ,I've scolded you ,you've even slept on my bed
Yet once in that ring you turn my face red
,All this I have done ,I have tried hard enough.
The truth is quite simple .You Don't Give A Stuff..
A few years back I saw a very nice large freestanding cupboard which was to good to leave in the shop. When it was delivered I realised it was larger than I thought so I asked the delivery men to pop it in the garage and I would sort where it had to go later.
Since that day it has remained in the garage and I have been filling it up for years with stuff, until last week when I decided to tody it up. I opened the door and a lot of this stuff that I had been pushing into it over the years, sort of tumbled out.
I could not remember what half of it was for or indeed where it had come from, but it looked like it belonged on something and so I had still better keep it, after all I was always told that 'You never know when you will need that'
So I spent the next day or so tidying it up and placing all thoses bits and bobs neatly in little boxes a tins nicely labled.
Then last week a very helpful couple of 'mothers little helpers' arrived and said 'Look half of this stuff, you do not know where it came from and the other half is too rusty now to use anyway, so lets take it to the tip for you'
The thought of parting with the crockery or electrical goods seemed sad as I had known them being around the houses I had live in for years. But it made good sence realy expecially when they said you have not needed it up to now have you. So I agreed and off to the tip it went.
But would you belive it only yesterday did I need a Large Cake Tin fot the first time in 7 years to make a Christmas cake and I went into the garage opened the cupboard and then remember the Tip.
Secretly however I decided heck why make a Christmas Cake I am off to stay with Mother's little helpers at Christmas so
problem solved Yeh
What's all this stuff cluttering up my floor?
Mum asked of me as she opened the door
I've just spent hours cleaning up this room
So all in the bin please, and make it soon
But Mum I cry, it's important gear
All this is treasure that I have here.
Where did it come from ? my Mum did say
I found it hidden in the garden whilst out to play.
Let's look then at this treasured stuff
Mum rolled her eyes and huffed and puffed
One by one I display my wares
Glancing at Mum as she gazes and stares
A black shiny pebble, perfectly round
A rusty old whistle that makes no sound
An old penknife and a scout badge or two
Shiny glass marbles in red, white and blue
A birds egg carefully wrapped, now cold
Not something to take I've always been told
A faded old comic, some cigarette cards too
A little boy in a photograph with a brownish hue
Mum picked up the photo with misty eyes
Gently she stroked it to my surprise
This boy is your Grandad she said with a tear
Sadly he died before you were here
I've found his stuff, do you think he will mind?
I'm sure he won't care, who better to find ?
You were right when you said you'd found lots of treasure
Those items I'm sure bought Grandad much pleasure
Lots of stuff happening to commenorate 100 years from the end of WW1 which prompted me ot think of the mothers who had to send their sons to war. We lost 52 boys from our town. Bad enough when its a small place but 7 families lost 2 boys, 1 lost 3 and 1 lost 4 sons. Unimaginable.
Soldier Number 5
The room is empty, an aching quiet. Just his stuff there in the space where he sat only yesterday. Where he tried and failed to contain his excitement and his mother, well his mother fought to remember her patriotic duty and ignore the fear for the last baby this war could take from her. The baby she had raised.
Now she touches the stuff. The ordinary, every day stuff that is suddenly so special. The only link to her little boy. A man, a soldier now but still her little boy. Always her little boy. So the stuff is now extraordinary, a memorial and treasured and something to cling to. The faint smell of his hair oil hangs in the air, his brush by the bed, a few blonde hairs caught between the bristles. Would that be all she had left of him? Just the stuff? So many boys sent to fight never to return and so much stuff left behind.
Four sons sent already - no news is good news. Look after number 5 for his mum. He's her baby and he's made of good stuff.