Day 24: Scapegrace

Word of the Day:

scapegrace

noun

a complete rogue or rascal; a habitually unscrupulous person; scamp.

Continue reading Day 24: Scapegrace

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Day 22: Dudgeon

Word of the Day:

dudgeon

noun

  1. a feeling of offense or resentment; anger: We left in high dudgeon.
  2. Obsolete. a kind of wood used especially for the handles of knives, daggers, etc.
  3. Obsolete. a handle or hilt made of this wood.
  4. Obsolete. a dagger having such a hilt.

Continue reading Day 22: Dudgeon

Day 18: Craquelure

Word of the Day:

craquelure

noun

a network of fine cracks or crackles on the surface of a painting, caused chiefly by shrinkage of paint film or varnish.

(Insert placeholder paragraph so the definition is distinguishable from my bit o’ writing.)

Mama says that you can always tell how old one of Grandpa’s paintings is based on the craquelure. She’ll point to one so webbed with little cracks you can barely even tell what the picture’s of anymore and say, “See, this is a real early one, from back when Grandpa was at college and just starting to paint.” Then there might be one that’s half-lined, half-not, to which she’ll say, “This one he painted halfway through his life, when your aunts and uncles and I were coming along and life was good.” At the very end of the row are a few paintings which have scarcely any lines on them at all. Mama frowns at them, and murmurs, “These are the newest ones. The last ones. He painted these when your grandma was dying.”

She’s said it for as long as I can remember – you’ll what time the paintings came from if you look at the level of decay. “Some paintings this age don’t look this bad,” she’ll add from time to time, gesturing at one or another of them (it doesn’t matter which). “But your grandpa always bought cheap varnish, and that was when he invested in it at all. Just a hobby, he’d say. No use spending too much money on a hobby.”

Sometimes, though, I wonder whether it’s really the craquelure that she’s looking at. There are other ways of telling where in a lifetime a painting came from, after all.

I lead a friend through the house, pointing out Grandpa’s paintings as I go. I point to ones done all in bright colors, depicting sunrises and clear skies and towering mountains. “Grandpa painted those when he was at college,” I say. I touch the frames of the paintings of women holding babies, and cultivated gardens, and park benches. “He did these while he was raising his family. They’re my favorites.” I pause in front of an image of dark woods underneath a stormy sky. There are monsters lurking beneath the trees; you can’t see them, but you can’t deny they’re there. “And this one’s from when my grandma was dying,” I say softly.

Mama’s standing in the kitchen doorway. As I walk past, I catch her eye and know she heard me. She smiles.

Alrighty. Back over to you, Cara.

Day 17: Oscitant

Hey, guys! Pearl here. I’m taking over the writing prompt project for a couple of days while Cara takes care of some Very Important Goal-Pursuing Business. So without further ado…

Word of the Day:

oscitant

adjective

1. drowsy or inattentive

2. yawning, as with drowsiness; gaping.

Okay. Here goes.

It was impossible not to become oscitant when wandering out in the old wheat fields. They seemed to stretch for miles, rippling and golden. The wind whispered through the stalks, telling all its secrets to anyone willing to listen. Like she was.

She’d walk for hours, running her hands through the grass, softly singing in harmony with the wind, letting her mind wander like her feet. When her eyes began to grow heavy from the scent and the warmth and the lullaby of the endless susurrus, she would sometimes find a smooth stretch of ground to lie down on, where she would shut her eyes, and breathe evenly, and slowly slip farther and farther away from consciousness. She never found it a sad parting. After all, what had consciousness ever done for her?

Once, as she lay there, she dreamed that he, too, was in the wheat fields, hurrying aimlessly to and fro, frantically calling her name. But it would’ve been easier for him to find a needle in a haystack than to find her in all those acres of wheat. She could’ve stood up, of course, and waved to him, and called to him, and run to him, and fallen into his arms…

But she didn’t. She only lay there and listened to his voice, calling and calling, on and on, until she could no longer tell the difference between it and the wind.

When she awoke, the sun was setting. She rose and began the long, slow walk home.

P.S. Cara, good luck on not yawning when you do this one. I failed utterly…