The Loophole

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

“Why would anyone choose this tomb?”

Sally’s voice ricocheted in the clearing. I felt my face flush and dug my nails into my palms to keep from responding.

“I realize they don’t need light, but what do they have against air?”

“They’re blind, you know, not deaf,” Mark noted dryly. I could’ve kissed him.

Sally shrugged. She leaned forward and slapped the wall. “Thick walls. I bet they’re as good as.”

“Or not.”

Sally boomeranged off the wall as if electrocuted.

A hand waved out of an arrow slit, two inches from her waist.

I grinned.

“Come right in. Dinner’s ready.”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

 

All That Shines

Gilded AdiRozenZvi

Photo: Adi Rozen-Zvi

 

All that shines

In the glitter

Of candles lit,

Stories told,

Holds the breath

Spent in prayer

O’er Gods

Dressed in gold.

 

 

For the Photo a Week Challenge: Gilded

 

Come Play!

Play SmadarHalperinEpshtein

Photo: Smadar Halperin-Epshtein

 

I can play in the tent

I can play with these balls

But to have you play with me

Is what I want most of all!

 

For Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Play

 

Window Wonder

Reflection InbarAsif

Photo: Inbar Asif

 

If the world’s reflected

Like a mirror

In the windows

Of your mind,

Would you know to tell

The difference

Between inside

And outside?

 

 

For Lens-Artist Photo Challenge: Windows

 

One Silver Lining

(Based on true events* – Trigger Warning for possible distress)

bed blanket female girl

Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on Pexels.com

 

Susan is about to leave her daughter’s bedroom after bringing in a load of clean laundry when Chrissie speaks. Her voice trembles.

“Mom, can I tell you something important?”

Susan turns. Chrissie has been quieter than usual. She resisted going to basketball practice and tried to stay home from school. “Sure, Chrissie. You know you can tell me anything.”

“Coach Kevin hurt me.”

Susan frowns in confusion. “Hurt you how?”

“He cornered me in the locker room and he pushed me onto the ground and he tried to get my clothes off and I told him no but he didn’t listen and when I tried to scream he put his hand over my mouth and nose and I couldn’t breathe and I thought I was going to die.” The words tumble out and Chrissie begins to sob.

Her mother remains standing as if rooted to the floor. “When?”

“Last week.”

“Last week?!” Susan crosses her arms over her chest. “How come you didn’t say something right away?”

“I was scared. I was confused. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to think about it. I…I didn’t want it to be true.”

“Did you call the police?”

“No.”

“Did you tell the principal?”

“No.”

“Did you tell anyone?”

“I told my friend, Hannah, yesterday.” Chrissie’s voice shakes. “She told me to tell you.”

“You didn’t even tell your best friend right away?!” Susan raises an eyebrow.

“No.”

“Well,” Susan shakes her head, “so maybe it didn’t happen.”

Chrissie wraps her blanket tightly around herself. “It did happen! I’m telling you it did!”

“Coach Kevin is a nice man. Are you sure it was him?”

“Mom! I know him. His face was two inches from mine. Of course I’m sure it was him!”

“I don’t know. I’ve seen Coach Kevin many times and he never tried to do this to me. I never heard anyone say anything like this about him. Also, he goes to church.” Susan pulls her phone out of her pocket. She swipes her finger over the small screen. “Kevin? Susan. Got a minute?” She walks out of the room and returns a couple of minutes later. “Well, Chrissie, I don’t know what’s going on here, but I just talked to Coach Kevin and he says he didn’t do anything of the sort. Are you trying to destroy him? It is nasty to make things up this way.”

Chrissie sobs. “I’m not making it up, Mom. It really happened. It is why I didn’t want to go to school. I didn’t want … to see him and he does the carpool …”

Susan eyes linger on her daughter. “Well, maybe something happened, but I don’t believe it was him.”

“It was him! I’m telling you it was him.”

Susan narrows her eyes. “How can you be sure it was him?”

“I am a 100% sure. I saw him like I’m seeing you.”

“Hmm. I think you’re wrong.”

Chrissie pulls the covers over her head. The blankets shake.

“No need for hysterics. As you can see, I am believing you that something happened. I just don’t think it was him. Actually, I think you should apologize to Coach Kevin for saying he did this to you. He says he didn’t do it and I believe him.”

Chrissie freezes. She turns slowly toward her mother. “Apologize to him?! Mom, he’s lying!”

“I don’t know. You have proof it was him?”

Chrissie starts to shake her head but then sits up. She looks up at her mother. “Maybe. There are cameras in the hallway by the locker rooms. Can we ask the school to get the cameras from outside the locker room? They’ll show him going into the girls’ locker room when I was there by myself. They’ll show me leaving in tears and him leaving after me.”

Chrissie’s mother rolls her eyes. “That’s not necessary. He said he didn’t do it. That’s all I need to know.”

Chrissie stares incredulously before turning away from her mother and facing the wall.

Susan shrugs. “Well, that settles it. I’ll tell Kevin you are sorry. He’s up for promotion, you know. Head coach. There’s a party at his place on Sunday. We’ll stop by. You should write a card. The one silver lining that can come out of this is that if someone assaults you, you now know you can come and tell me about it.”

§ § §

 

*a link to a ‘one silver lining‘ statement that ‘inspired’ this piece.

 

Waiting for Panav

hyderabad-2707439_1280

Hyderabad, India (Photo: Pixabay)

 

“Can you see him?” Aashi danced on the balls of her feet. “Is he here?”

Her sister slowly passed the binoculars over the crowd.

“Maha!”

Maha sighed and adjusted her sari. She had taken Aashi to the roof because the girl’s incessant buzzing got on Dādī’s nerves. Grandma was anxious enough for Uncle Panav’s arrival without her youngest granddaughter upsetting the chapati.

“He’ll be here soon,” Maha allowed. She didn’t really think she’d be able to spot him. Still she kept the binoculars trained on the market hive below.

Heat rose from the street, stirred by hawkers’ calls and drivers’ horns and the indistinct hubbub of people that had made Hyderabad home.

Aashi’s bangles jangled. Some were Maha’s till this morning.

She touched her nose ring. A gift from Uncle Panav, who will be Chaacha no more. Her chest tightened. Tomorrow, after they wed, she’ll call him Pati.

 

 

Hindi Glossary: Chaacha – uncle; chapati – unleavened Indian bread; Dādī – Grandma; Pati – husband

 

For What Pegman Saw: Hyderabad, India

 

Pink Strong

Pink AtaraKatz

Photo: Atara Katz

 

Underneath the soft plumage

And pretty colors

Afield,

Resides a strength to protect

From those who violence

Wield.

Underneath the pink top

The hat of power

Revealed,

Live truths of how both

Softness and thorns

Are required

To be healed.

 

 

For the Sunday Stills Challenge: Make mine pink

 

 

Crowned Warmth

chartzit OfirAsif

Photo: Ofir Asif

 

In the small, darker moments

When light appears to be

Gone,

Recall life giving

Sunlight

Reflected

In crowned Chrysanthemum.

When the cold seeps

To sorrow

And the path may be

Lost,

Remember how the warmth

Of the many

Can the most hidden

Truths

Defrost.

 

 

A bit of trivia: Chrysanthemum Coronarium, AKA Glebionis Coronaria, is an edible variant of the Daisy family (the greens are eaten). It is native to the Mediterranean region but is cultivated in Asia, and more recently in North America. The plant is rich in minerals and vitamins, including potassium and carotene. Some toxic properties (dioxin) have been observed and extracts of the plant can inhibit the growth of some helpful gut flora.

 

For Cee’s Flower of the Day

Rising Rice

Rice Paddy Thialand AdiRozenZvi

Photo: Adi Rozen-Zvi

 

Up in mountains

Down valleys

‘Midst small villages

Near towns,

Seedlings

Rise

From the water

Neath bent backs

Patient hands

Toward the sun.

 

 

For Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Things People Grow

 

Echoes Of Before

Old door Turkey OsnatHalperinBarlev

Photo: Osnat Halperin-Barlev

 

Who had stepped through this door

Over thresholds

Before?

What words did old timber

Hear

In times gone but still near?

Do dormant secrets

Await

Behind a roped-to-close gate?

If you step close enough to

Go through

Will the past echo to you?

 

For the Wits End Photo Challenge: History