Hanging In

ray-fragapane-QM5-lbqzREc-unsplash

(Photo: Ray Fragapane on Unsplash)

 

They didn’t know then

Or still

What track life will

Bring.

Yet they hold on,

By bootstraps

Hoping

For just enough breath with which to

Sing,

To the sun

That would rise,

To the hope

That would

Cling.

Till dawn will

Another story

String.

 

 

For dVerse Quadrille Poetry challenge

 

Indefinitely

Photo credit: © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

They didn’t know when Power would return.

When they’d be allowed to leave.

Only that it would have to.

Because it had been promised. And they’d been raised to listen. And believe.

The grid was down. The streets were bare. The shelves that once were filled to the brim were naked in the lanterns’ glare.

It mattered none.

When they had faith.

Power had said, before he left, the back of the car packed with goods he “had to take to the needier elsewhere,” that they were meant to wait, “indefinitely, if need be.”

An test of faith.

Till death.

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

Not His Kind

daniel-diesenreither-9K8q3K_zuog-unsplash

(Photo: Daniel Diesenreither on Unsplash)

 

When he first saw her, he thought, no way!

After all, he preferred the quiet kind who’d let him listen to the crackle, to the silence, to the breathing of the cabin’s logs.

He thought her flippant. Voluble.

Disrespectful of tranquility. Wasting words.

But she’d been sent, and his household needed a woman.

So he endured.

Till he heard her soothe a monologue of comfort into his orphan’s ear.

And his heart turned dear.

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt of Flippant in 74 words.

 

 

The Lost

ccc190

It wasn’t the hunger. Or the cold. Or the worry that their bruises won’t have time to heal before another layer made lace of the colors on their skin, to serve a lesson in horror and morals for their kin.

It was, more than anything, the despair.

The utter loneliness within.

The feeling that there will never be another way to be. Another way to live. Another place to be.

For the Commune was The Law, and The Law was The Faith, and The Faith was the whip and the rope and the cellar’s dirt floor.

The Law was everything.

Until.

That day when someone – who some later said was of the lost who were forbidden to be let back in – breached the fences. Ignored the “No Entry” sign circling the fields. Climbed through the grasses. 

With a lens. And later, with the law.

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

Inside Job

 

gate-photo-promt-unknown-submission

 

“It doesn’t matter what it looks like on the outside …”

“Yea,” Elianna intoned, “it’s what on the inside that matters.”

“Exactly,” Jennifer winked. To be easily discouraged was a privilege of the young. Something time cured. Or tanned into tough old leather. She chuckled. 

“What?” Elianna sounded wounded.

“I was laughing at myself, Eli.” Jennifer tested the length of her chains. Sink to bed to door. “We can do not a thing about that horrid gate or those who guard it, but let’s put some elbow grease into this door and make our inside view a good deal better.”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt © Brenda Cox

 

Stable Home

lisa-fox-stone-cabin

 

They thought it mattered to him that it wasn’t fancy. That he’d care it was damp. Or old. Or cobbled together from what materials could be found.

They were wrong.

All he ever wanted was a roof that did not leak, a hearth that could be lit, food enough to fill his belly, safety in his sleep, a bed that did not bite, walls that did not threaten to collapse about his ears.

The cabin was all that.

And more.

Sure, it had housed horses, and smelled of them, sometimes.

It only made it more a home.

A stable home.

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt © Lisa Fox

 

Storied Stories

childrens-library-ted-strutz

 

They climbed in silence, single file, the occasional foot scraping a bare concrete step.

Lindon pressed his lips. It helped stop the trembling. This was his first ‘trip’ off the ward and he wanted to look around. To look at others for their reactions. But new or not, he’d learned enough to understand that it was better not to. He kept his head low.

A scent hit him. Like Grandma’s house. Last month. Eons ago. He blinked.

The stairs ended. He looked up. His eyes grew.

His heart, too.

A room of books.

Stories. Escape.

He knew he would survive.

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt © Ted Strutz

 

 

The Gall

abigail-ZaeTg1PnZPk-unsplash

(Photo: Abigail on Unsplash)

 

She steamed and paced and stomped and stewed.

The temerity. The audacious liberties he’d taken.

It was one thing to sell the house.

Another, to have removed her name from the deed.

To have kept the change hidden.

Her parents’ house, no less.

The place of hers – not his – childhood.

Cruelty was why she’d left him.

But this?

He, vacationing on islands.

She and the children, homeless.

 

 

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Temerity in 69 words.

 

 

The Gift

jennifer-burk-wP9yLk_VKI8-unsplash

(Photo: Jennifer Burk on Unsplash)

 

She was not there.

Of course, she did the work. She wiped the sinks. She did the wash. She peeled the taters. Washed the floors.

But she was not there.

Not when people stopped by. Not where there were any windows open or any blinds up.

She’d been smuggled to them as a child.

A gift.

From someone.

To the man and lady of the house.

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Smuggle in 66 words

 

No Reflection

mirrors-g9371e1b15_1280

(Photo: Pixabay)

 

The full-length glass was bedecked in heavy gilded glory. A forest of paintings crowded around it, their layered oils glistening in the candlelight.

She stopped and stared back at the faces. Unsmiling figures in stiff postures clad in roiling silk and velvet cloths.

Perhaps they ought to have felt familiar. The line of jaw, the slant of brow, the coil of hair above a hooded eye. She had seen all those before. She could again. If she just let her eyes glide toward the mirror.

She would not.

Know them.

Her ancestors.

Her captors.

Both.

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Mirror in 95 words