Monday, May 20, 2013

Sibling Rivalry

Thomas McCord's house "The Grange," built in 1819 and situated opposite Black's Bridge, at the first lock of the Lachine Canal, Nazareth Fief, Montreal, QC, 1872

In the dusky wetness of fading daylight, I linger near a surviving Scentimental, inhaling the sweetness of the rose that fragranced those long forgotten front porch evenings-now mixed with petrichor and the stench of wounded soil.  The naked patch of earth in front of me looks small.  Too small to have ever cradled the house that cradled our family. 

I recognized, underneath your pedantic excuses for demolishing our childhood home, a sense of settling a score.  Of hiding behind the camouflage of too old and too run down, a festering belief that I was somehow the favored son. 

And so, when it came down to deciding the fate of what should have been our legacy, put up for sale to pay off the debts of our parents, you-with eyes the color of jealousy, so different from my eyes of brown-simply had more money to burn.

 

                                            

 

This week, I’ve combined two prompts:

 

writing prompt

Write at the Merge

I’ve used the above image, as well as the word: 

petrichor

noun: a pleasant smell that frequently accompanies the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather

Trifecta

The third definition of the word

PEDANTIC (adjective)

1 : of, relating to, or being a pedant(see pedant)

2 : narrowly, stodgily, and often ostentatiously learned

3 : unimaginative, pedestrian

51 comments:

  1. I really love this line: Too small to have ever cradled the house that cradled our family. The layers of cradling is a great image.

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    1. Thanks! When I see a bare patch of earth where a building or house has been, that image always comes to mind for some reason. Thanks for reading this!

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  2. I've never heard the word petrichor, so neat! I like how you used it in your story. It's too bad that the siblings can't get along, made me kind of sad!

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    1. Tammy-I'd never heard of that word either, but it's a cool one! This made me sad too-it's not my usual stuff, is it!

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  3. Petrichor! Talk about an SAT word. Way to work it in :-)

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    1. No kidding Lisa! I'm going to see if Amy has heard of it-she just took the SAT a couple weeks ago;)

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  4. Oh the word for the day is: Petrichor. Thank you. I now have a word for it. I love the scent of rain. I had an air freshener from Pier 1 that was "Rain" Awwwwh.

    Dear Valerie, thank you for stating that we have become a nation of slobs. Isn't it funny how the narrator says "slobbbbs" so drawn out and awful? Nice to hear/learn about your experiences in your college studies. You are so smart!!!!!

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    1. Renae-it was my word for the day too! We didn't use it much in apparel design-and the word slob was probably considered to be a four letter word;)

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  5. A sharp and edgy snippet from real life giving an idea of what strained relations can do-siblings are not always ready to give up their "coloured" view of the other & boy,does it hurt?You bet it does!Sigh!Loved this richly textured piece-one just wants to go on ruminating after reading this!Loved it Valerie:-)

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    1. Thank you so much, my friend! Your comment makes me happy, because I was so unsure of this piece. It was so different for me, and I'm not entirely happy with it. I really appreciated your thoughts:)

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  6. I too loved the reference to 'cradling'. A very evocative word.

    P.S. absolutely adore your Etsy shop! Barkcloth is an amazing textile - so nice to see it used so well!

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    1. Thank you so much, Jo-Anne-both for reading this, and visiting my shop too. I am very flattered-and I really appreciate your lovely comment! :) And I completely agree about barkcloth-I just love it too!

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  7. Petrichor is an interesting word which I had never heard of until today. You've done a great job with the prompts. I haven't wrapped my mind around that house in the picture. I like the land cradling the family and don't get me started on sibling rivalry in old kids.

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    1. Thanks Ann! Petrichor was a new word for me too! Where I live, I've seen several old buildings torn down lately-and this story-of sibling conflict and demolition instantly came to mind. I wonder what that says about me? ;)

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  8. Oh, love it. Petrichor AND the smell of wounded earth. Because of course they're not the same. And a shift in tone for you, which I love too!

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    1. Cam-thank you! I love reading your comments-and the word petrichor? Nothing short of a brilliant prompt!!

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  9. My! My! What a lot going on here in such a short amount of words. Very well done. Love the layers of drama going on. Very well done. :)

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    1. Thank you so much Tom! Really-thank you so much! I appreciate that comment a whole bunch!

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  10. I never knew there was a word for that rain-on-the-ground smell. :D Great piece.

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    1. Thanks Draug! It's a great word!

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  11. Well written. My relationship with my brother is not that bad but I have a fear that things may become acrimonious when my mother passes. It's a shame because we were so close when we were younger.

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    1. Thanks Tara! I think it's a common scenario. Those hidden feelings come to the surface and make us do really nasty things. Thank you so much for your comment!

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  12. Brilliant. You did an exceptional job of combining the two prompts and I thought you little story was very creative.

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    1. Thank you! I appreciate that! This week the two prompts seemed to want to appear in the same story, so I let them;)

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  13. The idea of settling the score is brilliant, as usual sir.

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    1. Thanks Megan! That means a lot!!

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  14. Petrichor - New for me.

    A wonderful read.

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    1. It's a word I'm going to try to use again some time, too! Thanks so much for your comment!!

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  15. Nicely done - and two prompts at that! The death of a parent can sometimes bring out the worst in people.

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  16. you must have a wonderful thesaurus .. I love your description words .. very Zane Grey ..
    Lovey site here! How fun!

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    1. Lisa, I have a thesaurus that Amy found in a catalog and said I needed-I took her advice, and love it. I'm so, so glad you are here! :)

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  17. With eyes the color of jealousy. I love that. Great story in few words.

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    1. Thanks for such a wonderful comment, Stephanie!

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  18. Sibling-rivalry of childhood days... burning into adulthood. What a great piece Valerie!

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    1. Oh thank you!! I'm always so happy when you read what I write:)

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  19. I love the bite, the anger, the resentment and of course the eyes the color of jealousy and and the stench of wounded soil.

    This was haunting and bitter like a ghost.

    Really wonderful Valerie.

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    1. Jennifer, your comments are gems! "Haunting and bitter like a ghost" is gorgeous! Thank you, my friend!

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  20. Haunting and sad - a wonderful glimpse into a bitter relationship and the loss of a past that should have been treasured. Your use of language is excellent - the wounded earth line, and the land being too small to cradle the house that cradled the family being two examples out of many.

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    1. Thanks Thomas! I appreciate that observation! The more I write, the more I realize just how much in love I am with words:)

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  21. I really enjoyed this, you gave such a sense of depth in the background. LM x

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    1. Thanks Lyssa! What a great comment! I appreciate it!

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  22. This is great Valerie! Love the edge that comes through. Love the line "the stench of wounded soil." Excellent job capturing some out of control sibling rivalry.

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    1. Thanks Suzanne! This one was a little different for me, but I enjoyed writing it!

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  23. I love this story, the language, the sentiment. very well done

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    1. Bjorn-thank you! I appreciate your comment!

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  24. I love love LOVED petrichor. Delicious. Pedantic, too, as I'm here from the Trifecta prompt, but I adore the obscure words.

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    1. I adore obscure words too! Pedantic and petrichor are like word gold aren't they!

      Thanks for reading!

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  25. Legacies and sibling rivalry never go well together. Good story. (RogRites)

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    1. They sure don't, and adding money to the mix makes it even worse...Thanks so much for reading!!

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  26. Nice. I have green eyes and I love when that term is used to describe them - the color of jealousy..

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