Night Camp

 

During the days there was glare and heat and baking sand and the parched tongue hoping for good water.

But at night, when they made camp, and the chill spooled at their feet and the camels chewed their cud and the humans picked the last crumbs of quick bread off their lap and the blankets were unrolled and small sounds of conversation carried on the breeze; there was ease, and sweetened tea, and the slowing beats of hearts ready for sleep.

And the sky, a dome of diamonds, flowing over them, the old and young and man and beast, as in their dreams they sleep with the moon and swim in the waters soon to ripple under the sun to the east.

 

 

 

Prosery prompt: “In their dreams they sleep with the moon.”–From Mary Oliver, “Death at Wind River”

For dVerse Prosery challenge

 

 

What To Do?

Photo: Dana Vollenweider on Unsplash

 

What are we to do?

They asked,

When all seems to be

So broken-up?

How can we rectify

When the mess

We allowed

Exceeds nightmare

Proportions?

 

Perhaps,

The measured response was,

Begin with

Cleaning up.

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Rectify in 35 words

Untended

 

“He gets the room behind the bush,” Mama ordered.

“But Mama,” Samantha tried, “we’re in the country now.”

Mama shook her head.

Samantha swallowed a sigh. This was the middle of nowhere. No neighbors. No roads. Old growth all around. Barely a dirt path to the cottage from behind the barn.

There will be no arguing with Mama.

She caught Daniel’s eye. He did his little special wink at her and she wanted to cry. He was comforting her even though it would be he who will be stuck in a room with barely light and zero view.

His eyes flicked toward the barn, and she understood — at least in the house he’d be warm, where she could keep an eye. At least Mama wasn’t hiding him in the barn.

Mama could not stand his disfigurement. Reminder of the fire she did not tend. The baby she let burn.

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

 

The Tour Guide

Photo prompt © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

“They really keep people out?” Millie could not see the logic.

“Yep.” Brendan smirked. People’s reactions were priceless. Not quite the tour’s highlight, but almost.

“But why?” came the expected follow-up.

“Because they don’t want anyone inside their store.” He answered.

There were two main reactions: sputtering disbelief or shake-the-head-at-the-morons. He predicted Millie as the former, and as always, he was right.

“So they’re traders who don’t want to trade?!”

Wrinkles made tracks in her makeup. She probably shouldn’t try. Then again, perhaps she would look worse without it.

“Yep!” he glanced at his watch. “Now, to our haunted library…”

 

 

For Rochelle’s FridayFictioneers

 

 

Sentient Sorrow

“She won’t come.”

The woman raised her head.

“Who?”

“Grandma,” the child repeated. “She won’t come.”

The woman sighed. “Grandma’s dead, Lottie. It means she can’t come anymore.”

Lottie shook her head, brown curls dancing with insistence. “She can, but she won’t. It’s time to move on. She said.”

The silver stripe in the woman’s hair blinked in the light as her head tilted. “When did she say that?” she asked carefully.

“Last night.”

The woman’s eyes filled. “In the den! I thought I was sleeping!”

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Sentient in 86 words

 

 

The Farthest Ride

They were going to make a race for it.

Sherry frowned.

Why did everything have to be a race with them?

She knew there was naught a thing she could do to dissuade them. To the contrary: if she tried to, they were almost certain to up the ante, in bravado and a bit of spite.

Older sisters were never listened to. Even if they were ran to later with the scrapes and bruises and secrets that had to be kept from parents and the like.

Lots more than scrapes and bruises at risk here, though.

“I’m going to ride,” Thomas bragged. The paddle-board he’d rescued from the trash was his pride and joy. Pitiful in looks, with masking tape to hold the bits together, but serviceable. For ripples. Not for this.

“Nah, I swim,” Teddy said. “I’ll reach the farthest wind turbine before you get half-way to the first!”

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

 

A Silver Light

(Photo: Sue Vincent)
 

A silver light,

In blue

It was.

A glimmer on

Still

Water.

A place of dream

Of home

It was.

A hope for

Time’s lost

Daughter.

 

 

 

For Sue Vincent’s WritePhoto

Another World

Photo prompt: © CEAyr

 

“See the lamppost?”

Nick nodded.

“See that reflection?”

Another nod.

“You walk into that store and you’ll be in another world.”

The younger boy shook his head, hair so severely cut it almost looked shaven. Ruben fed him, but everything had a price. True in the orphanage. True on the streets.

“Your loss,” Ruben shrugged. “If you prefer life as it is now …” he drew the last word out.

Nick tried to see through the window. It was like a mirror. He didn’t like what he saw.

“I’ll go,” he said.

“Hat on. Bring out something good. Don’t get caught.”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

 

Nesting

tokens SueVincent

Photo: Sue Vincent

 

“Why did they leave these things here?” Farrow scratched his head with a sharp talon.

“Decoration?”

Farrow glowered at the brown excuse for a mate. She lay good eggs and she did not complain when the worms he’d brought home to the nest were torn or half-eaten. He had to give her that. But she never did learn to keep her beak shut when rhetorical questions were posed. Where someone with a bigger birdbrain would know to quietly wait for him to impart wisdom, she thought she had something to contribute. It was exhausting.

“There is no such thing as decorations, Ferrolina,” he attempted a didactic tone, perched atop the side of the nest and peering downward at the log below them. “All actions have a reason, and even those that end up beautifying have another motive underneath.”

“There’s moss underneath,” she quipped, egging him on.

Oh, she knew he held himself in puffed regard and thought the lesser of her. He could be tedious. But she had the best nest location in the area, and his pride meant he could not let her (or the offspring, when they hatch) go hungry. It was enough. And under all his bluster he was not cruel, only vain. Better than the lowlife who’d left her mama half starved and the lot of them freezing in an exposed nest when she was growing. Two of her nest-mates hadn’t made it, and the dud was unceremoniously rolled out to splat frighteningly to the distant ground. None of that was going to happen to her four egglings. And she was adamant all four would make it. She knew it in her heart that none were duds.

He narrowed his eyes at her. Sometimes he thought he’d detected some snark mixed in with her idiocy, but her expression was so mild he determined it impossible. He must be putting wit where there was naught but simple-mindedness.

“Yes, there is moss there indeed,” he noted, as patiently as he could muster. Mates were a lot like younglings. You couldn’t fault them for what they did not have. “Some concepts are too difficult for females to understand. You are better suited for the nest, to concentrating on keeping the offspring warm.”

Ferrolina swallowed a chirp. He was so easy to poke. “They sure are pretty to look at,” she added. “But they will not fill tummies.”

Farrow straightened. It was his expression, oft repeated, that she had finally managed to internalize. It deserved a reward. “Indeed,” he nodded his head and preened a moment. “And I shall be soon back with something that will.”

 

 

For Sue Vincent’s WritePhoto

 

Endless Flicker

paolo-nicolello-KY6NHtBWJB8-unsplash

Photo by Paolo Nicolello on Unsplash

 

Candle lighting

The edge

Of the world

And the margins

Of time

To the endless

Flicker

Of loss.

 

[For Kathryn: you became light eight years ago today. We all loved you. We all love you more.]

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Endless in 18 words