Against The Flow

under-new-bridge Crispina Kemp

CCC #68

 

“This won’t do,” Marc shook his hard-hatted head and lifted the dreaded red marker to the clipboard.

Nicholas scratched under his own protective gear in effort to control his irritation. Marc’s been insufferable ever since he’d been promoted, parading with his supervisor’s  paraphernalia as if it made him a demigod. For the millionth time, Nicholas wondered whether Bob The Builder — their blue coveralls donning boss — had assigned him to Marc’s team just to get back at him for the moniker. As if it was Nicholas’s fault that the man fit the cartoon character to a T.

“How come not?” he managed when the silence lingered.

“The arrow,” Marc pointed the board across the water.

“What about the arrow?!” Nicholas snarled. He almost fell, painting the darn thing while standing in a dingy.

“Pointing the wrong way,” Marc smirked in evident satisfaction. “Won’t do to go against the flow, you know.”

 

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge #68

 

Aftereffect

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Photo: Arnaud Jaegers on Unsplash

 

It does not do to elect

Only those who self-select.

Because it is best to object

To any who hold no respect

For others’ ability to reflect

On the facts in each subject.

For if we fail now to protect

The need of everyone to connect

And the necessity to detect

Those who humanity eject,

We might injustice reinfect

And cement moral defect

As the greedy now expect

Blind loyalty by genuflect.

 

 

 

For Linda Hill’s SoCS writing prompt: “ect”

 

 

Hide And Go Seek

memory SueVincent

Photo: Sue Vincent

 

It was the best place to play hide and go seek.

At least, that’s what they wanted him to think.

It was also the best place to go missing.

Not that they’d tell him. …

He had no reason to suspect anything was amiss. Not when the whole troop of them had ran together all the way to the weathered monoliths that dotted the small glens by the ancient cliffs. Not when the game had ensued with much merry running and grabbing and stone-circling. Not even when most of the children had headed back home for supper as dusk neared, but he was invited to stay “and play a bit longer” with a handful of the most popular kids.

He was new in town. He felt included. He felt welcomed.

He should have felt scared.

“He just disappeared,” they later said. “We thought he’d gone home with the others.”

“It has happened before,” their parents nodded, wrapping arms around the shoulders of their feet-shuffling children and forming a united wall against the ashen faces of the boy’s parents, the newcomers who never should have come, who never could belong. “The boy must have wandered away in faded light and fallen into a sinkhole.”

 

 

 

For Sue Vincent’s WritePhoto

 

 

Upstaged

 

The lights seemed brighter than usual that night. The music louder than remembered. The movements blurred. The words slurred. The heels on the wood rung jackhammers in his head.

He clenched his teeth and dug his nails into the worn velvet of his seat to keep from squirming.

She’d worked so hard for this.

The years of training. The months of practice. The weeks of rehearsals. The days of excited anxiety as the premiere neared. The long awaited curtain calls.

He was not going to let his daughter’s performance be upstaged by a migraine. Or a stroke. Or an aneurysm.

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

 

Yards of Yard

backyard SmadarHalperinEpshtein

Photo: Smadar Halperin-Epshtein

 

 

They looked outside the window into

Yards and yards of yard,

And knew this house will be one where

All play will thrive unmarred.

The world that spread

For miles ahead

A guard for

Childhood’s boulevard.

 

 

 

For the Tuesday Photo Challenge: Yard

 

 

Underneath

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Photo: Morgan Petroski on Unsplash

 

 

She peeled away the stale layers

Of sorrow,

The sheets that wrapped around the core

Of what had once held

Grins.

And underneath the soot of tears

And grit

And grief

She found the gold that had been

Hidden

Soft against reality’s biting teeth.

 

 

 

For the dVerse quadrille challenge: Peel

 

 

Kultuk

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Nikiski, USA (Photo: Elijah Hiett on Unsplash)

 

“The spirits of water and sun fought with the spirits of snow and ice well before the white man came to this land aiming to tame them.” The old man spoke softly, punctuating his words with silence. “Our people did not fight the spirits. Birth and death. Light and dark. The Tinneh accept them as they do life.”

The elder’s story was met with quiet nods of respect. There was no need for sound when another was speaking. A log crackled in the fire and the hush of waves sang on the shore instead.

“Our Tinneh ancestors have lived here ever since Walrus and Whale were born from the womb of Water Spirit. The white man calls this place Nikiski. It is a fine name, but not as fine as the name it already has. Just like the seal that swims unseen, Kultuk still lives under the new name’s ice.”

 

 

 

For What Pegman Saw: Nikiski, Alaska

 

 

Early Light

sunrise1 NaamaYehuda

Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

Still

The promise of day sweeps

Broad calm in its sway,

And the sun,

Rising gold

Lights new stories

Untold.

 

 

For the Sunday Stills Photo Challenge: Early

 

 

A Slowly Fraying Memory

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Photo: Free-to-use-sounds, on Unsplash

 

 

From the hollows of despair, they fled.

The shirts on their backs and the children

In their arms, all they could manage to

Take.

Even the abysmal shelters they had recently

Been made to call

Home,

No longer gave any protection or

A chance at repair or

Reform.

They left, dodging death and finding

Further fright to

Flee,

And in their hearts they held on

Tightly

To the slowly fraying

Memory,

Of days when life was softer

And beds were warm,

And babies slept

Well kept

Safe from war and hate and

Harm.

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Abysmal in 93 words

Note: Dedicated to all displaced, terrorized, pressed, oppressed, persecuted persons everywhere, and to the many millions who had, throughout history and in recent memory and in today’s times, been forced to further risk their lives by leaving what had once been home and safety behind, for the unknown.

 

Tacked On

whitewashed-mill-in-mist-cp CrispinaKemp

 

The house was there first. Small and determined, it huddled against constant winds, braved the sun, stood fast through raging dust-storms and the terror of lightning.

Years passed. The land yielded. The silo was built. A practical thing, meant to store the grain in. However, tacked on as it was, snug into the back wall of the cabin with nary a breath of space between, it also contained hope. It held the promise for winter stews and for bread rising in the oven even long after the growing months had gone and there was little sign of nascent greening, let alone of next harvest’s ripening.

The silo became another sturdy thing to be led home by. There when ice rode in and clouds breathed snow and the cabin was too lonely in the vastness of being. Together they formed a home. An oasis of nourishing.

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge