One For The Way

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(Photo: Dustin Humes on Unsplash)

 

She knew when she opened the window

That day

That it would be

One

For the way.

The frost on the petals

The chill in the air

The way that stray branches

Scraped against the stair.

The breath of new winter

Kissing her hair.

 

 

 

For the dVerse quadrille challenge: Way

 

 

Solitaire

 

He didn’t think much of the place at first. A chance to put his head down at night under more than just the stars or rain or ice. A plot of land to grow some food on. A space to store the crops and foraged goods that would hold him through those seasons when there was far less available that required far more effort to find.

The paperwork bequeathed him the abandoned croft and several boggy acres around it. The right to hunt and fish. The responsibility to repair and maintain the stone walls and the property, now a historical site, without altering the landscape.

“No villas, no mansions. No golf courses,” the solicitor had stated, only half in jest.

“No worries,” he’d answered.

All he ever needed was a room, a roof, a hearth.

And solitude.

For sanity.

Crowds made his belly flutter and his ears ring and his feet fidget with an ache for fleeing. The chatter made him cringe. The swift ticking of clocks made his heart skip some if its own beats.

The open spaces slowed his panic.

Calmed the bickering voices that would otherwise ricochet between his ears.

He built. He farmed. He slept. He woke. He walked.

He didn’t think much of the place at first. Then the old house became a home, the plot of land became his gem, and the hills became both fort and fortitude.

His very spirit soothed.

 

 

 

For Sue Vincent’s WritePhoto challenge – Welcome back, Sue, we missed you!

(Photo credit: Sue Vincent)

 

A Broken Wing

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(Photo: Michael Carruth on Unsplash)

 

They stumbled

Broken

On the wind,

Dragging behind

A shattered wing.

Still chanting with

The roar of

Mobs,

Dispersed a faction

That from the

Truth’s been

Robbed.

Their memory

Fogged

By lie’s

Remorse,

Will they attempt to

Correct course?

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Faction in 39 words

 

Reprieve

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She lifted her face to the sun and felt the vibrant scents of waves and freedom fill her lungs. The whole of her relaxed as if on cue. Pre-programmed. Indelibly tuned in to the whoosh of ocean breath that she could not yet see but every cell within her remembered.

Her heart swelled and her chest rose, liberated.

The moment coursed through her in liquid satisfaction.

Surf. Ebb. Swish. Flow. Hiss. Sand-licking waves.

Another inhalation of the salty tang and behind her she could hear the sounds of other people readying to take the path from car-park to sand. A child protested. A man’s voice soothed. A door slammed. A moment later a discordant melody of feet clip-clopped onto the faded wooden slats, drumming a crescendo of expectation through her bare feet.

The beach.

A needed reprieve.

At home at last by the ocean where her soul had always lived.

 

 

For Crispina‘s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

One More Time

 

It was going to be a stretch, but the alternative was silence.

And they could not. Not with the possibility that someplace, someone, was still listening.

After all, you never knew what people managed behind closed doors with all kinds of inventions that obscured their virtual footprints from those who’d mine their minds for false and profit.

Hadn’t there been exploitation in them, too? In their own broadcasts?

“We hold to truth,” Boss said.

And fastened onto truth, they nodded.

“Good evening, folks,” they said with tight smiles flickering. “We have the news. After which we will bid you goodbye.”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

Newfound

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(Photo: Jon Tyson on Unsplash)

She lay in bed and let the day’s words wash over her.

A soft stream in the mayhem.

“You’re a tenacious child,” her teacher said, eyes smiling. “You’ve tried and tried and made this grade your own. Not everyone would have continued, but you did. I am so proud.”

Tenacious, she mouthed into the dark and tuned off shouts and thuds and cries. So proud, she curled into the glow of newfound understanding.

 

 

For Sammi‘s Weekend Writing Prompt: Tenacious in 73 words

 

Don’t Blink

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“Is he asleep?” Andy’s small head spun toward Elisha’s, but only for a second. The boy did not dare, or couldn’t bear, to look away. What if in the one second that he wasn’t looking, he would miss a blink?

Elisha shook his head, and Andy, eyes already on the ice, felt more than saw the movement. He shuddered in part-awe, part-terror.

The last time they met was in summer, when Uncle Morris and Aunt Samantha came with Elisha for a visit. Andy hadn’t quite believed Elisha’s stories about ponds that swallowed giants and ensnared them under icy waters, leaving them forever blinking at the sky.

The eye, however, proved it.

 “Can he come out?” Andy croaked. His throat felt frozen.

“Not before spring,” Elisha soothed, sated by his younger cousin’s fear and feeling a tad guilty for it. “And you’ll be home and far away from here by then.”

 

 

For Crispina‘s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

Reality Check

 

The audience filed in. Excitement filled the air. A buzz of swishing coats and hushed conversation. Flash of cameras.

A few fans sidled reverently to the still-empty stage.

“I see his water bottle!” Millicent pointed.

“I know!” Brenda answered breathlessly.

The two grabbed hold of each other, starry-eyed with anticipation.

Their idol.

They could hardly believe they were about to breathe the same air as he.

A curse sounded. A figure stumbled into sight. Two men rushed behind to all but drag it back offstage.

“Could it…?” Brenda whispered, crestfallen.

“No!” Millicent demanded. “He won’t. Let’s find our seats.”

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

Times Immemorial

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It was an odd request, but she had always been eccentric and there was no harm in entertaining it. Perhaps even some benefit.

In return she would bequeath a third of her small fortune toward the maintenance of the seawall. The annual expenditure taxed townspeople for more than they cared to pay yet had to: Without the seawall there could be no beachfront properties, boardwalk, no hospitality.

Sure, it would alter the skyline, and for some would block the light a part of each day. But protestations were outnumbered by those who prophesied how the addition would bring curiosity and with it, added revenue.

She got her lighthouse. And the lift inside to help her now-frail body reach the top. In all but the worst weather, she spent hours there each day, white hair whipping in the spray.

“Our Rapunzel,” tour-guides could be heard whispering. “Been there from times immemorial.”

 

 

For Crispina‘s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

 

 

 

Tested

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Photo: Andy Feliciotti on Unsplash

 

Perhaps they did not know when it would come, or what it would require to what end. But they had to know they’d face the crucible that will reveal a moral fiber, if they had one.

They’d have to choose then: good or bad, peace or harm, truth or falsehood.

It would appear an easy choice, to go for better judgment. And yet they had so tangled themselves in the net of lies, that extrication meant losses they weren’t quite prepared to reap. Not when they hoped for revenue from crouching behind flags of insurrection.

They capitulated.

Dark history, revisited.

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Crucible in 100 words