This week’s Online Writer’s Guild prompts are: Come hither; He had a really hard time shaving today; Ra, the sun god
It was a perfect morning. The sun held back the cowering rain clouds to the tops of the foothills by the sheer force of its brilliant radiance. Ray couldn’t wait to get to work.
He woke his teenage son, Stu. “Come on, buddy. Let’s go. Up, up!” He clapped. “Let’s go!”
The boy groaned and slowly sat up, rubbing his face. Ray called again from the hall as he headed downstairs. “Now Stu!”
“I’m UP!” Stu growled.
Both men skipped showering. Ray made them a quick cheese sandwich for breakfast, and rushed out the back door. On his way to his truck he called for his Border Collie, who came running at full speed from his doghouse. In a single long leap, the dog jumped in the cab and took up his spot in the truck, happily panting, also eager to get to work. Ray’s young daughters came running out of the house, followed by their sullen older brother.
“Can we go with you today? Please? Please?” asked Tiffany. She bounced on the balls of her feet, making the best imploring, sad face she could. “You said we could!”
“Not today, honey.”
“DAD!” yelled Basha, “You promised. Not fair!” She crossed her arms and stamped her foot, also doing her best with the sad face bit.
“Not today. I didn’t say you could come along today. I said sometime it’d be OK, but today is going to be a very long day. It’s the height of the season, kiddos. We are going to be working nonstop, probably past dinner. That’s too long for you guys to come along. You’ll get bored and I can’t leave just to drive you guys home.”
A cacophony of protests broke out from all three children. “Stu can drive us home!” “Dad! I’m going to the Mariner’s game with Harley’s family tonight! You didn’t say I’d be there all day!” “Mom’ll come get us!” “If Mom comes gets them, can I go back with them too?”
“Mom will do nothing of the sort,” Ray’s wife Heather said as she walked up to the truck. The children stopped yammering, knowing further argument was pointless. Heather handed Ray a paper grocery bag through the window, which he placed on the seat next to him. The dog and Stu peered inside.
“Just leftovers, sodas, a couple apples. Also treats for the dog,” Heather said. Ray leaned over to give her a kiss, but she playfully recoiled. “Not with those whiskers! Yikes.”
“Come on, girls,” she continued. “Another time.” The girls fussed and whined about promises made. “Ray, Stu does have plans tonight. Harley’s family can pick him up at the winery,” Heather suggested.
“Tell you what,” Ray said to his daughters as he started the engine. “I’ll bring the falcons home tonight and tomorrow morning we can work with them a little bit before Stu and I have to get back to the winery, OK?”
Tiffany and Basha jumped up and down, clapping and cheering.
“For just a little while, though, OK? Right?” The girls nodded. “It’s my busy time of year and we can’t tire out the birds. But I promise.”
(The Sun God Ra is typically pictured wearing a Falcon headpiece, which reminded me of an article I read some time ago about vintners hiring falconers to rid their vineyards of starlings. Ra had several children, three of whom are Shu, Tefnut and Bast. One of his wives/consorts is Hathor. Hence the play on names—and yes, I took time to look all this up. Suffice it to say this took longer than 25 minutes!)