How do you like to go up in a swing
Up in the air so blue?
Oh I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!

I'm watching the MythBusters try to swing a 360-degree arc around a normal chain swingset, of the type found in playgrounds everywhere, and I'm laughing at the fact that this is their goal, and not how far you can jump when you leap off at the top of the normal arc.

Leaping off was always my favorite part of swinging, just as the second or two of zero gravity at the top of the takeoff run is my favorite part of plane trips. That tickling sensation in the pit of the stomach, that surge of adrenaline as you soar through the air – it's the closest a child can come to being Superman.

Up in the air and over the wall,
'Til I can see so wide –
Rivers and trees and flowers and all
Over the countryside.

I've been swinging on chains of sleep lately, spending more time napping and reading in bed than is truly healthy, but my body is demanding it, and as I work from home, I'm in position to indulge myself. My brain, unfortunately is far too sluggish as a result, and while I'm having vivid dreams, I haven't the focus to translate them to page or screen, yet. Still things are percolating, ideas are brewing.

The peaks and troughs of my sleep pattern are actually sort of soothing, and the dogs love that I'm stationery and in a soft place. Also, my wrists are enjoying the fact that I'm not spending so much time at the keyboard. I just hope this cycle breaks soon, because it's nice for a while, but then it gets boring.

'Til I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roofs so brown.
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down.*

*The Swing, by Robert Louis Stevenson

Permalink at MissMeliss.com

Cotton Candy

Recently, I joined The Alchera Project, and this bit of flashfic is my second submission.

The old man's face glistened with the faint sheen of sweat. Beads of it shimmered at his temples, reflecting the Christmas-light colors of the lights along the midway. He was dressed up, as if for a date, for this occasion, in a short-sleeved cotton shirt, striped in Oxford red, with the collar pressed into crisp points, suspenders, and his best khaki pants, breaking just so across the top of his shoes.

They were old man's shoes: sturdy brown leather, with steel shanks and rawhide laces. He called them 'work shoes' – although the only 'work' he still did was to putter in the kitchen or the garden, these days.

A woman in a yellow sun dress and matching sandals, her olive skin smooth despite the greying streaks in her wavy black hair, her dark eyes glowing with contentment, walked beside him, her arm looped through his, her body angled toward him. Her red-tinted lips moved rapidly, but her affectionate nagging was drowned out by the calliope music and the incessant chatter of the little girl with them.

The little girl. The apple of the old couple's eyes, this child danced around them the way young children do when they're pumped up on fun, her strawberry braids bobbing in time with her innocent chatter. She halted in front of the cotton candy, watching the hair-net clad women spinning colored sugar into fluffy clouds on paper cones. âœGrandpop, may I have some?â she asked. And of course he said yes.

Years later, when the old man was older still, and his work shoes never even visited the garden any more, he would smile into space, remembering the buzzing of mosquitoes, the tinny sound of the carousel's calliope, and the sticky cotton-candy kisses of a little girl long since grown, who never visited often enough.

Permalink at Moonchilde.com