Tag: Feed

FEED: Feed the Heart By G. Ackman

Word: FEED
Word Count 497

Feed the Heart
By G. Ackman

The tiny newborn’s front legs barely moved, but it was enough of a twitch that I knew he alone survived. His mother had exhausted herself bringing these babies into the world, and I had feared that it had all been in vain, but at least one little spark remained and I vowed then and there to make sure this little guy survived.

“You tried so hard, my sweet princess. You go watch us from the Bridge and I will take care of this little one for you. I promise.”

I reached down and gently picked the baby up and wrapped him in a soft towel. I rubbed his little belly and the high-pitched squeak was the most gratifying sound I had ever heard. I held him close and murmured to him, rocking and soothing him. I knew he would be hungry and my emergency supply kit had a couple of cans of puppy milk and a syringe in it. Trial and error became a great teacher as I had to learn how much pressure to use on the syringe so that the little guy could get enough milk without choking, and he had to learn how to accept the syringe. There was definitely some spilled milk but we didn’t cry over it.

Every three hours, we repeated the process, stopping to burp once in the middle and then again at the end. After each feeding, we had our little bathroom sessions with warm, moist cotton balls helping the little guy to do his business. I was a pretty poor substitute for his mother licking him to make him go, but there really are some lengths that I won’t go to for a dog.

A full-night’s rest became a dim memory and I ambled through my days with a permanent cloud of fog around my brain. My eyes were gritty and I could no more put together a coherent thought than I could fly. But he was getting stronger, his hunger squeaks now insistent and his squirming made him resemble a sausage in a hot skillet.

Soon two weeks had gone by and one morning, I fed him and then turned him over to burp him and when I turned him back over for the second half of the feeding, there they were. Two bright shining eyes looking right at me.

“Why, hello bright eyes!” and at my laugh his little tail swished like a propeller on a jet boat. Right there I named him. Jet. “Do you like that. Jet” Swish, swish, swish.

That was 14 years ago and Jet has always been by my side. But now I see that his eyes are focused on a distant place, a place where he will go join his mother and both will watch and wait for me. I fought hard to bring Jet into this world, but I will let him go gently into the next. I fed his body and now his love will feed my heart.

FEED: No Need to Feed a Dead Cat B.A. Sarvey

Word: Feed
Word Count: 500
No Need to Feed a Dead Cat
B.A. Sarvey

She had eventually come to terms with the $700 cat in the freezer. The ghastly vet bill hadn’t left her destitute, although it had taken a huge chunk of her nest egg. The adoption had been ill-fated all around. Its aftermath left her disconcerted and distressed. If she had listened to whispering doubt, it wouldn’t have happened at all. Once in a while, though, she thought it might be pleasant to share her home, some conversation, a meal or her bed. The little creature warming her feet at night had been perfect. Then, he sickened and died, becoming one more thing to deal with, in a chain of misfortunes.
Even if the kitten hadn’t been infected with a fatal disease, she told herself, most of the other things would have happened anyway. None of it was his fault—she was certain he would rather be alive. And hey, on the positive side, no need to feed a dead cat.
But what about the need in her that the kitten had fed? She mused that people feed off the energy around us, not in the sense of predator and prey, but by the symbiotic nature of humans interacting with their environment. Pets and people belonged together. Why, then, did she surround herself with art and literature instead of living creatures? Perhaps the answer to that was that she only had so much room in the freezer, so much room in her life—no room for something that required food and shelter. Trying to feed her need for companionship, she chose a sickly creature. Hadn’t all her attempts at relationships ended that way? Infected, unhealthy. Perhaps she sabotaged her own connections, deliberately choosing matches she knew couldn’t last.
“Stop feeling sorry for yourself,” she chided. Spring had arrived, the ground had thawed enough for digging, enough to inter the frozen feline. It was time to get her life back on track.
He was wrapped in a small blanket, against the harsh reality of death, as though he were a revered Egyptian cat, prepared for the afterlife. Buried in the garden, he would revel in the night, stealthily stalking his phantom prey, allied with others of his kind, who would teach him how to behave in this new life.
Before removing him from the shoe box, she made sure the hole was deep enough, wide enough. That she was alone in this task was brutally apparent with every shovelful of rocky dirt she dug. Circumspect though she was in guarding her independence, she would gladly have shared this task; lightened the emotional burden.
Yes, she could afford $700—more than a family trying to feed five children. She had surely spared someone else this expense and trauma—her good deed. The kitten, in turn, would nourish the soil where it was buried. The forsythia planted atop would grow strong. Perhaps a finch would nest there. Life would go on. Why, then, did she desperately want to break the cycle, and undo his death?

FEED: FEEDING FRENZY By Nan Ressue

Word: FEED
Word Count 467
FEEDING FRENZY
By Nan Ressue
The food wars began when the baby started feeding herself while enthroned in the highchair. Food bits scattered on the tray became entertainment as they were dropped over the edge, one at a time. She had a strange fascination with spaghetti sauce. This lovely liquid could be smeared on the tray, sucked off the noodles, or best of all, rubbed on her bald head. She was consistent. Every meal with tomato sauce resulted in a red headed baby.
Peas were another challenge for younger eaters at the family table. You would be served as many peas as you were old with the older children yelling foul. My son John found that he could line his up under the rim of the plate and pose as a successful vegetable eater.
Ethnic Dutch dishes, prepared occasionally to please their father, were gag-you foods. Dutch Lettuce was the outstanding example. This dish started out with strips of bacon fried and snipped into small squares and added to big bowl containing shredded lettuce, mashed hard boiled eggs and potatoes. It was dressed with a small amount of hot bacon fat, brown sugar and vinegar. Not good.
Gardening was part of the family feeding scheme and the children were required to assist. My eldest daughter thought she had won the game of string bean snipping by surreptitiously adding her beans to the compost pile. Her father, as chief gardener, directed her to retrieve them from the pile and continue snipping.
It was a blue day for the children when Mother Earth News started showing up in the mailbox. That’s how I realized that free salad was growing in the yard and those lovely greens with the yellow flowers had only to be rinsed and chopped for the purpose.
My little daughter wailed, “How come we have to eat weeds? Nobody else eats weeds…”
There was usually some kind of dessert to share. Homemade cake cut in chunks was offered and you could have any one you wanted, even one out of the middle. One dessert enjoyed only by the youngest child was a triple batch of homemade Christmas cookie dough stored in the refrigerator for baking when time allowed. Two days went by before I discovered that the cookies had already been consumed. “Why fret?” I asked myself. “He saved me rolling, cutting, baking, frosting, and decorating and he had his cookies”. I found out later that his digestive tract had fought back.
One memory that still makes me smile is a comment from a neighborhood boy who often came to play and eat.
“You know, Mrs. Ressue, every time I come down here, I have something weird to eat.”
From that comment forward, I made sure he had something weird every time.

FEED: Happy Mother’s Day By Peg Scarano

Word: Feed
Word Count: 502

Happy Mother’s Day
By Peg Scarano

I get overcome with a sense of serenity whenever I talk about the fact my husband and I have been living in a state of wedded bliss for nearly 44 years. You may sense a bit of sarcasm in my tone, because some recollections feel like finger nails scraping the blackboard. Some memories really do radiate a sentiment of love and gratitude. However, not this one.

I’m sure all moms can reflect upon their first Mother’s Day with a new baby and the anticipation felt wondering what the new dad was going to get her in recognition of all the hard work she had done over the last year. There was the initial nine months of being an incubator and giving up certain recreational activities and suffering whenever you ate your favorite hot wings. And the magnificent transformation of our young, tight bodies into every mom’s favorite children’s book character – Dumbo.

I know dads claimed they were helpful (even thirty years ago) but let’s face it, the majority of the diapering, cleaning, washing clothes, changing sheets, feeding (especially if you were a nursing mom), walking the crying critter and forgetting what a full night’s sleep felt like – mostly fell on dear old mom – or I should say, dear new mom. For these reasons, I thought my first Mother’s Day present was going to be spectacular!

We visited my mother-in-law with a nice little token of love and appreciation in hand for all the time she had put in being a mom. I bought that present, by the way, and the one for my mom which I had sent a week earlier to Florida. But my mind was awhirl with ideas of what my grateful husband had gotten for me as his token of appreciation.

I finally got the baby to sleep and wearily headed to the bedroom awaiting my big surprise! There he was, sound asleep, purring as only a man can and there was no prettily wrapped present in sight. I was heartbroken. But I never said anything, thinking it was his first time. I would buy him a great father’s day present and next year, I would reap a double reward!

My second Mother’s Day arrived and after visiting his mother, he went straight to work spending three hours fertilizing the lawn. This year I wasn’t going to let it go. I nailed him! “What the hell is the matter with you? Two years in a row and no Mother’s Day present!” I was waiting for him to say, “But you’re not my mother.” Instead, without a moment’s hesitation he said, “I did buy you a present! I bought you $200 worth of weed and feed for the lawn!”

Since then, for Father’s Day, my husband has always received a frivolous present in the form of a new dress or outfit or something extravagant I truly wanted for myself. I wrap it up and make him open it every year. And this is how a marriage lasts for 44 years.

FEED: Laurel Doves Chapter 5 By Sharon Collins

Word: FEED
Word Count. 499

Laurel Doves
Chapter 5
By Sharon Collins

Geneviève swam back to consciousness and opened her eyes to see the broad yellow-green leaves of the sacred Laurel above her and hear Père Jean was repeating, ”Je suis dèsolè, ma petite, dèsolè…” as he tenderly tucked her wayward braids back under her hood. “My foolish, brave, petite colombe, I tried to shield you.” But the damage was done. Geneviève’s eyes had seen because her ears had heard the whispered word on the wind. “Demori.”

Père Jean she gasped from a throat choked with smoke and grief, “What, what does Demori mean?”
“It means, I Remain,” he replied, “that although the Light has been dimmed, because You remain, the Light has not been completely burned out.” He might have said more, but Hèléne’s insistent tugging at his robe finally drew his attention. “What, ma petite colombe, is it, that cannot wait?”
“Her hair! Père Jean! Geneviève’s hair…”

“Hush child…” he sigh. “Now is not the time.” Hèléne quieted but continued to stare at Geneviève, whose far-seeing eyes noticed not at all.

Once more in formation, Père Jean’s flock flew on. As the sacred Laurel receded into the distance Hèléne’s eyes remained glued on stray strands of Geneviève’s hair, waving like silken antennae in the breeze. Long hours later when they stopped by a quiet stream to rest, and feed their empty bellies, Geneviève finally noticed her friend’s awkward attention. Leaning over the bank, to catch a glimpse and tidy her hair, she gasped, then sobbed. Gone was the chestnut glory that Grand-mère so admired. Her unruly braids had turned completely white. Cupping dusty hands in the cool water, she blotted out her eerie appearance and turned to her ginger-haired friend.. When it came to matters of appearance, Hèléne knew how to turn plain girls into pretty girls, and how to turn pretty girls into even prettier ones. Despite the personal plainness embraced by the Perfecti-teachers , the girls’ small vanities had been indulged, and Hèléne’s beauty advice tolerated.

“Is it truly awful?” she managed to croak through her tears. “Tell me true, Hèléne ; it IS horrible is it not?”

“Non, ma cherie,” she assured her stricken friend. “N’est pas horrible. C’est très belle, like moonlight on snow…” But of course it was not tres belle.

‘It matters not, not really,’ Geneviève supposed. ‘ I will not be allowed to keep it anyway, not where we are going. Snow-white or chestnut-brown, it makes little difference.’ But she did not say this aloud. The other girls did not yet know the extent of sacrifice awaiting them at journey’s end. Grand-mère had fully informed her but had not wanted to frighten Hèléne or Marie-Claude. Geneviève was also certain that neither Giselle nor Lisette were aware of the vows necessary to become a novice. ‘Poverty, chastity, humility…the last one will take care of my ghostly hair,’ she thought, as she dried her hands on her patched skirt, picked up her bundle, and stepped back into her spot in line behind Père Jean.

FEED: Feed By Anne Nassar

Word: FEED
Word Count 503
Feed
By Anne Nassar
She’d taken him at his word. She believed that they would have a house near her parents’ house, that he would work and she would stay home and raise their children, and that they would have a life that was God-centered. And when she’d said, “For better or for worse”, she thought that she knew what worse meant. Worse meant cancer, dementia, stroke. Maybe a miscarriage, possibly an affair, or an occasional beating. She never, ever thought that “worse” meant godlessness. The contract between them was ratified by God. If God had ceased to exist, surely they weren’t obliged to honor the contract?

He’d given up on being her husband.. He couldn’t even be counted on to come home anymore. He didn’t even sleep in a bed anymore. He slept in the back yard which was crawling with enormous bugs and snakes. He slept on the beach. Or so he said – who knew where he actually slept?

She forced herself to keep doing normal things. She cleaned the house, showered, collected eggs, scattered feed for the chickens, weeded the tomatoes , visited the sick, volunteered at the soup kitchen. She went to church and sat there with the rest of the shepherd-less flock and prayed. But her activities had lost their meaning. Everything she did felt like play-acting.

Of a Sunday, he showed up, smelling like piss and stale sweat. He made a beeline for the refrigerator, which was still stocked, courtesy of his mother. He chugged a half-gallon of milk, gasping between swallows. Then he opened a package of baloney and peeled off slice after slice, and crammed them into his mouth.He avoided her eyes.
Your mother said for you to call her.
He didn’t respond.
She asked me if I wanted to come live with her.
He glanced at her, and then away, and said, I don’t know what you want to do.
It depends on what you’re going to do.
I don’t know what I’m going to do, he said, I know I can’t keep lying to people.
You could tell them you’ve lost your faith. That’s the respectful way to handle it.
I’m worried about contagion, he said, I don’t want anybody to end up where I’m at.
Is that why you’ve been living elsewhere?
He ran his dirty hand over his long face and said, I never should of married you. I’m sorry. I had the best of intentions.
You don’t love me?
I can’t say I don’t love you. I’m just not fit to be your husband.
What happened to you? she demanded. There’d been an accident, that much she knew. One day when she went to get in the car, she’d noticed that the passenger side headlight was smashed in. But that was the extent of the damage. He was in the habit of driving drunk, he wrecked a car about every six months. This particular accident was nothing to get upset about.
Did you hurt somebody? she asked.
He looked at her, eyes wide.

FEED: Feed By Joshua McMullen

4/25/18 – Feed
Words – 498
Feed
By Joshua McMullen

Lucas had admired her from across the room, and his brain along with his eyes immediately began feeding him information: mid-20s, about five-foot-three…unrealistically long ginger hair that spread like a wavy wildfire down her back…and a look that said in big, neon letters, “I DO NOT WANT TO BE HERE.”

Abrielle didn’t, of course. Her sister dragged her here with the promise of all the Shirley Temples she could drink if she drove her home. Meanwhile, guys came up to her almost all night, feeding her every single tired line of bull (and some that would make for some frightening Google searches as well). She just dismissed them the only way she knew how: with an exasperated sigh. She sipped her fourth Shirley Temple of the night in annoyance, watching her sister flirt indiscriminately.

With all the guys walking up to her, it was plain to Lucas that he had no chance. Five men had gone up to her, and all five of them had walked away with little more than a bruised ego. Even so, he thought she looked absolutely angelic, especially when she very nearly dropped her glass and caught it without spilling a single drop. He even noticed the way she self-consciously tried to make herself blend in among the rabble, clamoring for alcohol.

Abrielle tried covering up her shoulders with her hands, made bare by her sister’s attempts to make her “presentable.” Despite what she thought, Abrielle did not think a scarlet off-the-shoulder shirt and skintight jeans made her presentable– they just made her feel completely laid bare.

Lucas took the stool beside her without even thinking. For whatever reason, he didn’t say anything, just sat right down and ordered a drink. “You’re not going to try to buy me one?” Abrielle asked, pushing up her glasses and readying her tried-and-true exasperated sigh.

“Nope,” Lucas said. “Truth is, I think you’re absolutely beautiful. But clearly, I have about as much chance as the rest of them, probably less.”

Abrielle looked at him, her eyebrow raised. “Really? They were meatheads…you’re clearly more intelligent than you let on from across the room.”

“Really, I’m nothing special,” Lucas said, taking a big swig of his drink while Abrielle traced the rim of her glass thoughtfully. Then out of nowhere, she took his hand and whispered, “Let’s get out of here.”

They walked around a long and winding path, talking about everything and nothing at the same time until they came to a tiny park overlooking the river. Seeing that she was shivering, he took his coat and draped it over her shoulders. After walking for a little while, they came to a tiny park overlooking a river.

Abrielle took a candy stick from her pocket and offered it to him. What happened next was just a result of the night’s events: not thinking, just doing. Interlacing his fingers in hers, he took the stick, ate it, then gave her a passionate kiss.

Abrielle could taste the chocolate.

FEED: Big Fish Little Pond By Mike Cecconi

Word: FEED
Word Count
Big Fish Little Pond
By Mike Cecconi

Henry David Thoreau wrote about the thrills of splendid isolation in the vastness of his New England wilderness in a cabin a mile-and-a-half from town, where he could walk back to the family home to get his laundry done in forty-five minutes, where he could feed his soul with the myth of roughing it and feed his belly, nonetheless, with his mother’s picnic lunches.

He never commented on the dissonance, of course, that his great transcendental back-to-nature New Age monster was constructed upon a mud puddle close enough to Boston’s suburbs to still hear the train whistles blow at noon but then, that wasn’t his job. He’d gotten rich reformulating how to make good pencils cheaply, it was his to say who he was and what he did with the rest of his life’s idleness. A million other wags have pointed it out, of course, I needn’t dogpile on his long-digested corpse.

Rather, I will just say, it mattered to him because he believed it. Yes, he may as well had been living in a treehouse off Snickers and Capri-Suns but in his mind, he was a minor mountaineer and in the end that is what mattered. I’m not saying you should buy the myth yourself and think that you are communing with the gods by living in the changing shed beside an in-ground pool, but one must also remember, it was real to him.

It serves a purpose to tear down our gods, especially for good reason when the firmament their deification was built upon was a quicksand of delusion, but hopefully that purpose is to chase down what truth we can find in the fog of history. Having some idea of what the past was really like is in its way important, of course. The problem is when we tear down the little white lies of yesteryear, just to feel more evolved, to feel smarter, to clear the grounds that we might better place ourselves up in that place instead as gods. As much as we must appreciate what happened back through our own echoes, it’s just as important to consider the value of our asking why.

Henry David Thoreau believed he was a new survivalist, even if he may as well have been two bus stops away from the mall, and he wrote up some amazing inspiring things because of it, he made us think new ways about nature’s balance, even if he was fooling himself at least a little. What ultimately matters aren’t the veracities of his inspirations but rather the work he did and what we the people trying to build our own statues of selves manage to do with it.

In 2015, the state of Massachusetts had to release the warning that we should no longer swim in his Walden Pond, so polluted had it become by tourists and well-wishers flocking there to chase down old Henry David’s dream. Perhaps that’s the thing we should be worried about instead. Conservationists, perhaps, conserve thyselves.

FEED: The Hands Wo’t Feed By Sally Madison

Word: FEED
Words: 451
The Hands Wo’t Feed
By Sally Madison

“I got this one!”, came an angry young man’s shout. “I owes them a one or two, and I’ll make sure they get what they deserve”, pushing his way to the front of the crowd. He grabbed Mary’s wrists tightly yanking them away from her capture. Another young man grabbed the Lord Mayor as roughly, and they led the mob that was ransacking the mansion. Mary, in tears of hysteria, looked back to see her furniture and paintings being dragged to the street and thrown into a pile, preparing a bonfire.

Increasing their speed the young men gave significant glances at each other, nearly dragging their captives creating a distance between the four in the lead of the mob. “Wh’t ya think Lloyd, shall we give her a go?”

Turning her head quickly to see the young man’s face, she realized that her capture was her own Earl, and the other was the missing brother, Lloyd, that she had been searching for these past few years. She wanted to hug him and hold him in her arms again, but he whispered softly and gently, “all the world is a stage, Miss Mary, and we must all play our part. We’ll get you out of here.”

Turning his head to his nearest two followers, Earl ordered, “Go to Wesley’s pub and get my Da to come out. Once they split off, he ordered to the next few followers, go fetch some rope at Haily’s store. Once they split off, he ordered, “you, you, you and you, go fetch the wood at Robinson’s place”. Having sent the front runners of the mob to the far reaches of the town, he quickened his pace to get far ahead of the remaining mob.

Earl and Lloyd near dragging the two captives, urged them on, “step lively, we need to turn the corner up ahead to loose the stragglers.”

Once around the corner and out of sight of the mob, Earl and Lloyd led the fugitives into an alley. Dark and dingy, quiet and eerie, they wormed they’re way through a maze. Seeing a clothes line of laundry, Earl pulled down a washerwoman’s dress, and a ragged shirt. “Quickly, change into these. Those fancy duds o’ yours will show you off and the jig is up.”

Taking advantage of the moment of respite, Mary hugged Earl and then Lloyd. Her tears were no longer of fear, but of pure joy at finding her little boy again. Richard, shook hands with both, questioning “why did you risk yourselves like that, they would have turned on you, too?”

Earl with a half smile answered, “well, sir, you needs to care for the hands wo’t feed ya. Right Sir?”

FEED: Crisis Management By Sam McManus

Word: FEED
Word Count 500
Crisis Management
By Sam McManus
It was an absolute frenzy on the fifty-second floor, at the office of Reinhart, Ford, and Waltham, as one by one the men from the IRS exited the elevator, all suits and ties and no nonsense. They descended upon the law firm like buzzards, ready to pick the flesh from the bones. A frantic scrambling ensued, as one by one the various associates spread the news from cubicle to cubicle. It wasn’t quite the end of the world, but it was the end of their world as they knew it, unless they could get rid of approximately five reams of paper.
In the room down the hall and around the corner from the elevator, the one usually locked up tighter than Fort Knox, the managing partner, Harrison Waltham III, hurriedly disappeared inside, his arms full of the very documents the IRS were there to commandeer. It wasn’t generally his job to get his hands dirty, but he was at his best when a crisis threatened. Besides, it was lunch time, and he always ate at his desk.
At law school no one had told him this day might come, perhaps because his law school professors saw things through rose-colored glasses. They were there to prepare young lawyers for the wide world, not the big bad world, but Harrison had been in the game long enough to realize this world was both at the same time. You did what you had to do to stay afloat, then in order to stay on top, then just because you’d done it for so long you had no identity apart from it. So he slammed the door closed against the onslaught of IRS agents, the penguins who were turning his firm upside down and inside out.
He had made concessions no one should have to make, all for the firm that had his name on its stationery. Harrison Waltham believed that his name mattered, that the successes and failures of the firm were inextricably linked with him, and him alone. It was a devastating way to live, always in fear that one scandal would undo the very bricks of his firm’s foundation, the very scandal that he was desperately trying to avoid at that very moment. Right then his associates were lying through their teeth, in order to save their own asses, and by extension to save his as well.
As he began to feed the incriminating documents into the industrial strength shredder, purchased from Taiwan, he thanked god for its silent feature, one he had paid dearly for but that was paying him back in spades right then. Fifteen sheets at a time were ripped apart as if they never had been part of a collective whole. Fifteen sheets at a time were saving him in a way his father never had, in a way his name never had.
He was still two files away from complete redemption when they began pounding on the door. He picked up the pace, and kept praying.