March 4, 2014 Prompt– “sifting through sand”


The cat peered up with great blue eyes, periwinkle orbs too big for its sunken face. It was a dirty cream color, with a black face and feet. Three black feet. The back right leg was missing, amputated at the hip. I had suspected that there was a cat nearby based on the evidence I had found, sifting through the sand in the playbox out in the yard, but this was the first I had seen of this scruffy stray.

It opened its mouth and meowed silently.

“What do you want, eh?”

It meowed again, a thin thread of sound. It stared at me.

“What? Did Timmy fall down the well?” I picked a bit of ham out of my sandwich and held it out, but after sniffing it politely, the cat declined. Strange.

It meowed again expectantly.

“I don’t know what you want, okay?”

It sat down on its good side and tilted its head strangely, ears slightly flattened, and waited. I watched it for a minute, bemused, until I noticed that the stump of the missing leg was wiggling back and forth. It was trying to scratch. I wondered how long it had been since he or she had lost that leg, and if it had been one unscratchable itch after another.

I reached out and scratched its dirty ear. A gravelly purr rose from its thin chest and its bright blue eyes squinted nearly shut with contentment

By Abby Eskew


On The Beach


I can still remember the one and only time I had sex on a beach some fifty years ago.  The beach was Half-Moon Bay just southwest of enchanting San Francisco.  The night was brilliantly clear, the moon lit the world, the wind was essentially zero, the waves lapped just enough to provide a delicate sensuality, and we had a blanket.  Who could ask or anything more?

It was awful.

My wife was the loveliest female on earth and still, it was dreadful.  It was impossible to keep the sand separated from the action.  No matter how hard we tried and how careful we were, sand crept everywhere.

When it was finally over, she and I argued for an hour about which one of us got the worst of it.  She finally came up with the best analogy — it was like sifting sand through all our body parts.

We fervently agreed, we’d never do that again.

By Lloyd Rain

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