Bedtime Battles

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Originally published on ArmyWifeNetwork.com

Are you ready for a little bedtime story? It goes something like this:

Caden get off the computer and get to bed! You’ve got SCHOOL tomorrow!

Silence…but palpable tension in the air

Caden when I count to three you better be in your bed with lights out!

Mommy, I’m not tired!!!!

One….. <insert exasperated tone>

But Mommy, I’m hungry [said with cookie crumbs stuck to milk mustache]

TWOOOOO

So you want me to DIE of starvation?

Sidenote: I usually recant at this point and feed the child once more, but to hurry this story along we’ll just move to:

                                                            THREE

At this point the little angel is tucked into his bed, lights out and head slightly under the covers. I go to shut the door but stop short. There is a strange glow coming from under those sheets, right near my sweetie’s head. I discount a halo, because he’s actually not THAT angelic. No, no the little devil has his Nintendo DS hidden under there.

Is this story familiar?? Have you heard it before?? Now if this were a Choose Your Own Adventure type of book, like I read as a child (without an e-reader, no clicking here nor there) I would take a moment to choose my next move wisely. If I were to choose yelling and screaming along with snatching the DS, I would turn to page 67. Page 67 involves the dog barking, the Dad yelling and all roads lead to hell. A sleepless, red- eyed HELL.

The problem is this: He’s not tired. You are. He must get to sleep. So you can get to sleep. Who REALLY needs more hours of sleep. Doctors will say children, but I’m skeptical. I need way more sleep than my little soldier, hands down.

So let’s rewind a bit. The child isn’t tired because he’s been on a schedule similar to a rock star’s all summer. We partied all night and slept all morning…because we could. It was nice while it lasted but now school is upon us and Mama is looking for a job. We have to be responsible folk and get to bed sometime before midnight. It had to happen.

I did a little research and found out something interesting about how computer screen time affects our brains. Kids aren’t lying when they claim they aren’t a bit tired after shutting down their computers or snapping shut their handheld devices. Consider a quote taken from  THIS article:

“Although any type of light stops you feeling sleepy, research has shown that light towards the blue end of the spectrum is especially effective at keeping you awake because it suppresses the production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. Unfortunately, computer screens, tablets, smartphones, flat-screen televisions, and LED lighting all emit large amounts of blue light, and so it’s important to avoid them before bedtime.”

The article even suggests that you wear amber-tinted glasses if you absolutely have to use your electronic devices before bedtime. It is proven to improve sleep quality and mood.  However, if you don’t want to invest in the amber glasses, then just get in the car, head to the library, and pick up a REAL book!! And those REAL books, with their musty smells and torn pages, have just the magic to tire out little eyes. No stimulating blue light lurking there. E-books, take that!

My Broken Picasso

Originally published here

(Broken link in post below)

Conceited Crusade

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I remember you in pieces,

my broken Picasso,

slanted like the sun,

that slips right past

silk curtains.

Do you remember –

the drive back

from Paris was quick – the two of us

en route to Madrid,

or was it the ruins of Greece?

From somewhere we hopped a jet into this

new world,

flung our bags onto

this grass

where velvet roses

close by day

only opening to stars,

softly swaying to the moon.

The tide turns back

and we exist as in a dream,

tossed on waves

rippling past rocks

searching for land.

It never stops.

We keep a rhythm

that moves, the memories

crackle

on replay –

they circle

and sputter

and spin.

Image Credit

Tricia Sankey

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Ophelia Choking

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I followed the concrete path with my face down and fists buried inside the cheap plastic pockets of an oversized raincoat. I’d walked that path a million times. But that day I noticed them all. Numerous small jagged cracks peered up to greet me, and my eyes followed their shadows slipping into the darkness just below. I didn’t just see the darkness but I felt it and my head bobbed up, begging the sky for distraction. The wind ruffled the tops of trees before punching my hood back with an icy blow. It was going to rain – a cold, drenching rain. The kind of cold that burns as it whips at your face. That was the night I ran away at just sixteen.

I met Charles at nineteen. I was his waitress, and I smiled at the way he eloquently spoke. His voice was deep, like a hole you couldn’t quite see inside. He ordered a drink and left a tip, slid it right under the glass. His ‘tip’ was scribbled on a napkin. He suggested I quit and work for him. His number, penned in red, bled straight through to mar the table.

I’d been in my right mind when I’d said yes – all those years ago. He had money to spend and said I was fun to spoil. The money was generations old – old money for a young bride. He was sixty when we married. I was just twenty-five. I’d seen the money as freedom, not just for me, but for Mom. Father was dead and she was granted bail.

It’s been five years since that day. Is it too late to change my mind? I wonder if I still have one. Charles plans my days, so I don’t have to think and Mom never misses a meal. She’s comfortable in the guest house. She says she’ll stay awhile. Some days I just want to run and fall into any shadow that will hide me. But my life is his under lock and key. He pays the guards well for surveillance. They watch me as I swim in the pool. My wedding ring pulls me down, secure as an anchor in the ocean.

The will states I’ll have it all, but only in the event of his natural death. I think I may die first. He seems rather spry at sixty-five.

I sing a song to pass the time. Time means nothing, and I know my future. My beautiful clothes will stay new in the mirror. He’ll lift his glass high when I call out the numbers on Bingo night. Like Vanna, I’ll smile, my enamel stripped bare, a salacious white. And when the party’s over, I’ll head upstairs for a surprise. His spotty hands will caress my neck, to fasten a diamond choker, a little tighter than the last. And he’ll laugh as I pull my shirt up, off over my head, the light silk catching on diamonds, the snagged collar strangling my neck.

Photo Credit: here

Depreciation


nibiru

Shaking glass, counting

down, clever words, cracked

this way. We breathe in

fragments, choking sounds:

Follow me, around the bend-

Find that

corner, planes must pass-

Steady eyes, over here, watch and see-

this new trick. It’s gone

you and I

together

*depreciated*

like a penny,

tossed in space –

into a void,

watch it now,

spinning down,

onto the ground,

beside my feet,

that walk on by,

too spent to care,

too tired to bend.

Photo Credit here

She needs the key.

I relate to this so much as an armywife who has moved and had to start over in multiple locations. Especially the line “she’s been finding parts of herself in different places..” Please take a moment to discover the writing of my friend YuMin Ye!

Conceited Crusade

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She has been fractured for a long time. Not belonging to any one group of people or any one place. Instead, she’s been finding parts of herself in different places, splitting herself up and hiding the pieces inside boxes only she knows about like Horcruxes. Sometimes it’s her heart, sometimes it’s her whole body. Sometimes fracturing her heart is like fracturing her whole body. There’s one foot in, another foot out. There’s one finger on one page while another finger is flipping to the next page. All this while her hand wants to close the book altogether.

She has been healing for a long time. Her Horcruxes keep trying to crawl out of their boxes like spiders after a volcano eruption. Sometimes she lets them make the connection, building a bridge to her past to help her move forward into the future. Sometimes healing is a lot of sitting in…

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Please also visit the following literary journals and anthologies where my work is published:

 OneSentencePoems Paragraph Planet 50-Word Stories   Red Wolf Journal and MasticadoresUSA.

My micropoetry has been published in the following print anthologies:

Poetryin13 Volume 3             Poetryin13 Volume 4: The Loss Sessions

The Anthropocene Hymnal

Wounds I Healed

FromOneLine Vol.2. from Kobayaashi Studios. You can get the anthology here or on the publisher’s site here.

FromOneLine IF I Were A House (all proceeds go to charity) click here

My short story, The Cave, made the ScreenCraft Quarterfinals in 2019 

I received an Honorable Mention in the L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Contest for my short story, The Reset. Read the complete list of winners here

My novella, The Light in the Cave, is now available on Kindle! It made the Amazon best sellers list in the category of Young Adult short reads on its first day released! 🥳

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Unless otherwise noted, all text and photos on this blog are my original work. Feel free to link but please do not use them without my permission. Thanks! 

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