penultimate: adjective – 1. next to the last: the penultimate scene of the play.
I meant for the phrase to be clever, since this is the next to the last week of #MenageMonday, but I probably should have included the definition.
Miranda Says: Thanks for letting me judge on what turned out to be quite a difficult set of prompts all together, but I did enjoy the entries which were all very good. I particularly liked reading how my favourite quote was interpreted within the parameters of the prompts.
Miranda Says: Funny piece that made me smile, and someone finally took note that the picture looked just like the character Hancock from the film Hancock! I could just see this guy embarrassing her at the airport. Nice piece. [read more]
Miranda Says: I liked the way this piece showed how people should be grateful for every last moment they have, even if they know they are dying. Well written and the last line made me smile. [read more]
Miranda Says: This fascinated me, law permits 5 what? boyfriends/husbands? and you get to kill them afterwards? Very Black Widow – made me smile and want to keep reading. [read more]
Miranda Says: This piece grew on me with each reading. It had such hidden depths, which showed themselves gradually. I liked the way Stacy used the Dr Seuss references to describe the relationship. She showed the characters envy and shame well, revealing the inner struggle they had with accepting that they were the addict, and that in fact it was the dealer who was better off and that they were the fool. It reflected the prompt well showing the truth of disenchantment and how it can kill the life within.
I curse the crowds as I search desperately for someone special. The jostled strangers breathe hate at me, cold judgment in their eyes.
Suddenly, he’s there. I’d know him anywhere though I’ve never seen him before. And he knows exactly what I need. He smells my plight, the odor of money and disenchantment.
Like Vanna turning over a letter, my Sam-I-Am flashes me a bottle. He has green eggs and ham for sale. Or maybe cristal, or dope, or crack.
Beneath his sunglasses and woolen cap, his smug happiness adds the penultimate insult to my injury. Branded by shame, scorn rises to my defense. How dare this lowlife take my measure? Banging a different girl every night, no job, no mortgage. Shit, even his sneakers can’t afford to shelter more than 9 of his toes. Who the hell is he to be happy?
But he is. I’m not. Maybe a magic potion could cure my jaded ennui. But even so, a smart man wouldn’t sell me that, not for all the Madison’s in my pocket. Not when he can supply my need for poison weekly and make money off the walking dead.
Miranda Says: This piece captured the essence of the quote for me, that we lose our way and forget our dreams and become disenchanted. And the twist that it wasn’t the guy dressed like a tramp, but the person observing him. I loved the last line, which indicated that it was all still within, and it only needed to be given a voice. It flowed well, and gave a perfect snapshot of the moment of realisation. Well done.
He stood in the middle of the walkway, his grin lighting up the world around him. One hand held a bottle of something dark, cradling it with the other as if careful not to spill it. I almost dismissed him as nothing more than a drunk with his dark glasses, knit cap, and ragged jean shorts, which looked like they lost a battle with a weedwacker. But his demeanor carried the penultimate gentleness and compassion.
He beamed his joy and contentment to everyone, unruffled by the shifts in foot traffic or any disdainful expressions. I wanted that. My own world had imploded, my life spinning away in fractured shards of memories and encounters, leaving little to hold on to or savor. I’d even lost the love of writing. This man, with his ragged clothes and his libation, seemed to have found the secret I desperately needed.
“Can you spare a few good words, miss?”
The deep voice ringing with joy shocked me into looking up at the shaded eyes.
“A few good words.” He grinned. “To light the fire.”
I swallowed hard. “I can’t find them.”
“They’re here.” He pointed at my heart. “In your well of dreams.”