Six Word Story (38)

They are small, they are fierce. Why do we underestimate them so? Why do we deny they are reflections of what still lives deep inside of every adult heart?

Cherish those hearts, be they in the bodies of 2-year-olds, or in full-grown adults with all our learned coping mechanisms. It’s never too late to be brave.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

Photo sourced from unsplash.com


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Plastic Grows

Connection, as plastic cubes press together.

Click

A sound that speaks of acceptance, success, and lifts a smile across determined cheeks.

More clicks trumpet growth as the tower of color grows.

“One, two, three, four, five.”

Hesitation. What color next? Repeat the pattern? Mix it up? A finger taps lips in thought as eyes shine.

“Blue!”

It’s just right and belongs above yellow.
Plastic screams as hands stir the bin of blocks. It’s a symphony of possibility that makes an adult’s ears bleed, as a child listens to undertones and knows plastic grows.

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef


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Lava Worm

Was it a shriek of delight or fear? She didn’t know as it forced its way from her chest to the cavity of her mouth. A little heart pounded the rhythm of it as it bubbled into an audible note.

“Stay back. You can’t catch me.”

The floor moved. The carpet rippling right before her eyes. Its colours swimming and shifted, a living thing.

“Hurry!” the others yelled at her as they bounced up and down in excitement. “Its rising!”

She stood on her pillow, feet sinking into its marshmallow softness.
She danced like a cat.

“Now, May!”

Her body moved before her mind, responding to the call. The marshmallow softness was her downfall. Toes slid, the truth of its betrayal apparent in a second that stretched to an hour in a single heartbeat.

“No.”

White sock stained brown on the bottom touched carpet. Hands held before her broke the fall, and she giggled with gleeful horror as the waves of colour splashed.

“She’s done for.” The pain in Carter’s voice rocked her back to reality. His terror was exaggerated, but real.

Another scream bubbled out as her ankles were grabbed and the friction of carpet on prone stomach threatened a burn.

“I’ve EATEN you May!”

The blanket muffled the voice, rainbow patterns shifting with movement.

“You have to join me.”
“I know, I know.”

Her breathless reply held only a mite of disapproval. Her chest still rose and fell with heavy adrenaline induced gasps. She grasped the offered corner of his blanket, eyes sparking.

“The worm GROWS!”

They yell the words together. The trumpet of doom.

“RUN!”

©2021 Mary Grace van der Kroef

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Mud River Monster

I have been finding it difficult to write this week. So I will share a blast from the past with you this morning. I wrote Mud River Monster in either 2009 or 2010, my notes are sketchy on the date I finished. It’s the first piece of any length I completed. Though I have been writing since I was fourteen, I have always had dreams of finishing large projects that never quite work. It was a blessing to be able to look back and see how much I have grown in the last 2 years since taking my writing more seriously. I hope you enjoy the fun read. (I grew up in a family with 8 children and my early inspiration is pulled from those memories.)

Mud River Monster

Jay was Lord.
Nea was Queen.
Over the bank of
Mud River they leaned.


Nea had her staff
Jay had his bow
but little May cried,
“I don’t want to go!”


She sat in the grass
jeans stained green
thinking her brother
and sister QUITE mean.


“But we can not beat him here!”
They said again, and again,
Then through the sparse leaves
HE began to descend.


A grey gunny sack was
thrown over his large head,
and eyes darted wildly as
he passed the flowerbed.


As he stepped off the deck
May jumped up with a shriek,
and cleared the Mud River
in one quick, desperate leap.


Jay and Nea now
hot on her tail
splashed through the water
their faces ghostly pale.


Then he began howling as
he raced through the garden,
and the children knew he
would give them no pardon.


They reached the tree line
on the opposite shore,
but he gained ground while through
some piled leaves he tore.

As he charged the mud river
Jay turned to ready his bow,
Eyes shining brightly as he
prepared to meet his foe.


Nea stood behind Jay
her staff held so tight.
May hid behind a tree
overcome by the sight.


Jay loosed an arrow;
it flew straight through the air
to land in the muck,
missing by a hair!


While the monster’s great boots
splashed onto the shore
Jay and Nea hurried
to retreat once more.


They grabbed little May’s hand
as they passed by her tree,
but in one step she tripped
and grazed her tender knee.

Her small tears sounded
so loud through the air,
while up puffed the monster;
OH it was so…SO unfair!


Nea knelt down, took
May in her arms,
then turned her back
to shield her from harm.


But as Jay fumbled
to reload his bow
the monster’s advance
had begun to slow.


He huffed a great sigh,
and sat with a loud thump,
on the cool moist dirt
before the tree clump.


“I’m tired and hungry.
Is it dinner time yet?
Oh little May I would
never hurt you, don’t fret.”


At the sound of his voice
Jay’s bow just vanished,
Nea’s staff became a stick
May’s tears were banished.


The grey gunny sack he
now pulled off his head,
and in that moment, Jay’s
cheeks turned a bright red.


“The game can’t be over
until the monster’s dead!”
Jay exclaimed as
reality spread.


The monster shrunk
right before their eyes,
to their own brother Jo,
no longer in disguise.


His pants were muddy,
his hair stuck on end,
with a runny nose
to sum up the trend.


“My boots are full of water,
my socks go squish when I walk.
I think it’s about time
we started a peace talk.”


Jo looked up at Jay
Jay then looked to Nae;
they weren’t quite sure
now what they should say.


“I guess the monster
doesn’t have to die.
We could always say he
turned in to an ally.


Oh, he was just chasing us
to warn of an Evil King…
Who wants Nea for,
his brand new queen!”


“Then we better run home.”
Nea jumped to her feet.
“I KNOW I won’t marry HIM.”
And she led the retreat.


Back down to Mud River
just a ditch and a stream,
and up through the garden.
They made quite a good team.


For on the way home they
had to battle a bear
that once soundly defeated
turned into a lawn chair.


Little May sighed as
they reached the front door.
“I DO like Jo better this way,
always running is such a bore.”


So the four went inside
where was spread.
They ate like Kings,
and that’s all to be said.

©Mary Grace van der Kroef 2020

Water Painting

Original Photo by Mary Grace van der Kroef

The colours in her mind
by them, she’s not defined
vision unrefined
but still a mastermind


Look! The way she moves
painting through the groves
uncaring who approves
every step limits disproves


Just water on the ground
to her, colours abound
spreads it round and round
make believe so profound


Footprints in her wake
dreaming while awake
unafraid, never fake
as they fade, just more to make


When the fun is done
water drys in sun
tears? Not a one
for she’s the one who’s won

© Mary Grace van der Kroef 2020

Water Sport

Water splashes up with joy
Bottoms down in playful ploy
A splash is meant as a decoy
The failing grin just makes her coy

Water sparkles on the skin
Drips from wildly grinning chin
Eager for the game to win
Awakes my child deep within

Join her game and water sport
Sidelines leave our fun to court
Don’t doddle, life is short
Come and join a child’s cavort

©Mary Grace van der Kroef 2020

Rainy Day

Painted rock. Named “Rainy Day”. Hamilton Ontario

She found a Rainy Day
With it, had her way
Added to her play
Then carefully tucked away
Her treasured Rainy Day
For another soon to play
Skipping walked away
Down the path made her way
Wave goodbye to Rainy Day

©Mary Grace van der Kroef 2020

Dirty Floor

Original art by Mary Grace van der Kroef

Dirt upon my floor
I know it as much more

Within the scattered mess
Hidden proof I’m blessed

Dried play dough there
A moment without care

Bread crumbs careless brushed
Bellies filled, hunger hushed

Sand tracked all this way
Hearts a brim with play

While I push a broom
Do not now presume

As I cast it out
There is not a doubt

The memories I’ve saved
In my heart, they are engraved

©Mary Grace van der Kroef 2020

Sweet Little Toes

Little toes, ten in a row
Through fraying cloth, they peek
A wriggle, a giggle, off they go!
To dash and then to sneak

Those little toes will not be tamed
With cloth or shoes that reek
Always dancing even prancing
Shedding socks through grass to streak

Be blessed sweet little toes
Are you brave today or meek?
Your giving joy, despite being coy,
Spreading your unique mystique

©Mary Grace van der Kroef 2020