Word Prompt: Here | Story Prompt: from the book “As Long As The Rivers Flow” by James Bartleman

Write It Out: Instruction Video

“Fortunately, Raven was a calm, well-behaved baby who cried only when she was hungry. Martha would get out of bed and carry the tikinagan holding her daughter from her bedroom into the living room and prop it up in an armchair. As she walked to the woodbox, she would talk to her quietly and the infant would solemnly follow her mother with her eyes.

“I’m first going the feed the fire, my daughter, and then I’ll feed you. Is that okay? Do you agree? Because if I don’t, the house will become cold and we’ll all freeze. You wouldn’t want that, would you? Nokomis would be unhappy and we wouldn’t want to upset her, would we? Even though she loves us, she can sometimes get really grumpy!”

Raven would look at her mother gravely with her enormous bright black eyes as if she understood what she was saying.

Martha would open the lid on top of the stove, pick up the poker and stir the embers until they glowed red.

“Now, my daughter, I’m going to give the stove something it loves to eat – some nice, black spruce. I cut it myself last spring in the bush, left it to dry over the summer and hauled it home in the fall. You were there with me, keeping me company, in such a hurry to be born, kicking me all the time to make sure I didn’t forget you were there, and I was so happy!”

The fire would crackle after Martha loaded it with wood and she would say, “See, my daughter, the stove is thanking us for its supper and telling us it’ll keep us warm for a while yet.”

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“I Remember…” – MEC April 2019

I remember I’d go to Brownies after school, I think it was a Wednesday night. It must have been either a Wednesday or Thursday night because those were Dad’s days off. I’d have to take a different bus and get off at the church, where the Brownies circle was held in the basement. I remember that I had to wear my Brownie uniform to school that day, and that my brown tights would drive me crazy all day long. They’d be down around my knees before I even made it to first recess; I have no idea how I would manage to keep them on all day.

I remember I wanted to be in Pixies but I was in Elves. Brown Owl was our adult leader and early on I gave up trying to impress her. She knew the other girls better, because she taught at the other school. I’d follow Florence around, even though she was older than me, and invariably we’d get into trouble – which was not like me at all. I think it may have been because it was a long day, after a full day of school, and before dinner.

I remember waiting for my Dad to pick me up, and that once, he forgot. I had to go across the road to ask the people in the house there if they could call my home – everyone else had left already and it was getting dark. I was close to tears and was feeling sorry for myself, a sad little orphan. When he finally did come, I felt badly for making him drive all the way to town to come and get me. I think I stopped going to Brownies soon after that.

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“Here” is such a great prompt, I think. Where is “here”? What is “here”? Is it a physical location or a state of mind? What do you think? Share your thoughts below!

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