Night Flight

Photo: Sue Vincent

 

It was the island that saved her, in the beginning, in the middle, in the end.

At first it had been the noting of it. The realization that there was a place, not large and yet separate enough as to hold its own. Like herself, if she could manage it.

She wasn’t sure when exactly the understanding settled, only that she’d come to trust that if she ever had to, she could go there. To be safe.

That knowledge had held her in the years of interim. The island was the picture that she’d scanned across her mind each night as she tried to not take notice of what was taking place in her, on her, all around her. She took herself there, in a sense, long before she actually did. She nursed her wounds with the option. It was a salve onto her lacerated soul.

Then came the end.

Or the beginning.

Of other things. Of opportunity. Of a rebuilding of what she could be and didn’t until then form into a tangible possibility.

She made her way there under darkness. She’d had all the facts by then, gathered through secreted research and observation: the distance, the temperature of the water in different seasons, the topography, the places where there had been some shelters, and the times when people weren’t likely to frequent.

It rained the night she fled. A calculated risk she took and refused to worry could backfire. To stay would have been worse. She wouldn’t, anyhow.

The chill sucked her breath but also numbed her agony. She swam. She swam. She slammed laden limbs into the water and took herself onto the island and clenched her teeth against the chatter. The crossing had taken all she had. Almost. Just almost.

For from the flicker of willpower that remained, she lit a shallow fire, and the flame sustained her through the night and into dry clothes and the final ease of trembling. By the next night she slept, and by the third she made her plans for what else she’d need to be doing.

And she laughed.

For the first time in a long time.

Because she was safe.

She was not large, but she was now separate enough to hold her own. And she was strong.

He’d look for her, but he would not risk telling others, and he would not seek her where she was. She knew.

Her father feared the water, and from the moment she’d realized how the island could offer an escape, she’d made sure he believed she feared the water, too.

 

 

 

For Sue Vincent’s Write Photo challenge

 

Sardines

Photo prompt © Fatima Fakier Deria

 

“We’ll never all fit,” Sultana groaned.

“Lots of room!” the driver boomed encouragement even as he tightened screws underneath the van.

“C’mon!” Mariam elbowed past her cousin and climbed onto the vehicle, parcels and a flapping hen in hand. “Next one isn’t till dawn.”

Sultana looked around as if better conveyance would miraculously manifest. None did. She sighed, grabbed her packages and hoisted the bleating kid under an arm. She squeezed aboard, the last one on, with barely room enough to sit down.

The door slammed. The goat peed, soaking her lap.

It’ll be a long ride to Jaddati’s farm.

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

 

 

 

Rudy’s SOS

02-12-2006 16-33-58_0002a

Photo: Keith Channing

 

It was a quiet early hour at Headquarters.

Bernice was doing her nails. Bertrand had a foot perched on his desk and was clipping his toenails. Benny was (as always) squinting into one of his miniature rice grain paintings. Bella was snoring. Bonita was munching on crackers. Bruno was belittling Baron’s game-score. And Brittney, brittle as usual, was cradling the radio’s earphones even as she browsed the internet for interesting short film ideas.

Suddenly the switchboard sounded jingle bells and lit up in flashing green, red, and gold.

A Santa call!

In her fluttery rush to respond, Brittney almost dropped the microphone.

Bruno dove to save it. Those things were brilliant but brutally expensive. None of them wanted it docked from their pay for negligent breakage.

“North Pole,” he breathed into the mouthpiece.

“SOS! SOS!” The reedy voice could only be from one origin.

“Rudolph?!” Bruno rolled his eyes and hit the speaker button. The reindeer’s dramatic flair was brilliantly entertaining. “What are you doing on the radio? You know you’re not permitted.”

The radio screeched as Rudolph must have cranked the volume to its maximum.

“Shut up, shut up!! You moron! SOS! SOS!”

Bernice dropped her polish. Bertrand cursed. Benny’s rice grain rolled off the tray. Bella fell off her recliner. Bonita choked. Brittney fainted. Baron stared.

Rudolph was colorful but he was not prone to cursing.

Bruno’s cleared his throat.

“Sheesh, Rudy. Is it really an emergency?”

“Are you deaf? It’s an SOS!! Code Red. Code Red. Santa Off Sled. The darn temporary ladder that Brenda borrowed from Pottery Barn broke. Santa’s hanging by a thread! Send Feathered Fairy Fred!”

 

 

 

For Kreative Cue 240

 

 

Aglow

Abel Tasman Coast Track2 InbarAsif

Photo: Inbar Asif

 

Rippled water paint

Soft liquid cloth

Along the coast,

While boats at anchor

Bob at buoys

With tides’ ebb and float.

 

 

For the Tuesday Photo Challenge: Glow

 

 

Let Spirits Fly

kacper-szczechla-U2L0qbBw9Jo-unsplash

Photo: Kacper Szczechla on Unsplash

 

Then

Came just the perfect time

For snowy charm

To let its spirits

Fly

On high,

And make the wind bend

Trees and

Set tardy leaves to

Sway

Astray,

As Fair Folk sprinkle

Flaky frost and

Set aflame a winter’s

Dance.

I am

Entranced.

 

 

 

For the dVerse Quadrille Challenge: Spirited

 

 

Chill’s Reveal

Frosty morning (3)

 

Morning crept

With cold

Rays,

To frost dress

A new

Day,

With the chill

Soon to

Be,

Preview of

Winter’s

Fee.

 

 

For the Sunday Stills photo challenge: Chill