Don’t Blink

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“Is he asleep?” Andy’s small head spun toward Elisha’s, but only for a second. The boy did not dare, or couldn’t bear, to look away. What if in the one second that he wasn’t looking, he would miss a blink?

Elisha shook his head, and Andy, eyes already on the ice, felt more than saw the movement. He shuddered in part-awe, part-terror.

The last time they met was in summer, when Uncle Morris and Aunt Samantha came with Elisha for a visit. Andy hadn’t quite believed Elisha’s stories about ponds that swallowed giants and ensnared them under icy waters, leaving them forever blinking at the sky.

The eye, however, proved it.

 “Can he come out?” Andy croaked. His throat felt frozen.

“Not before spring,” Elisha soothed, sated by his younger cousin’s fear and feeling a tad guilty for it. “And you’ll be home and far away from here by then.”

 

 

For Crispina‘s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

Reality Check

 

The audience filed in. Excitement filled the air. A buzz of swishing coats and hushed conversation. Flash of cameras.

A few fans sidled reverently to the still-empty stage.

“I see his water bottle!” Millicent pointed.

“I know!” Brenda answered breathlessly.

The two grabbed hold of each other, starry-eyed with anticipation.

Their idol.

They could hardly believe they were about to breathe the same air as he.

A curse sounded. A figure stumbled into sight. Two men rushed behind to all but drag it back offstage.

“Could it…?” Brenda whispered, crestfallen.

“No!” Millicent demanded. “He won’t. Let’s find our seats.”

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

A Marginal Way

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(Photo: Karen Forte)

 

At the very fringe

Of hope,

And even as embers

Of warmth

Barely flickered,

A marginal way

Lived on

In her heart,

Its waves crashing

Full of breath

Against

Life’s rocks.

 

 

 

For Sammi‘s Weekend Writing Prompt: Marginal in 31 words

 

Subdued Sacrilege

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“Simply look down instead of up,” Manny pushed his hands deeper into his pockets and hiked his shoulders up against a chill no one else probably felt. It was 99F outside.

“But the basilica is right here, and so beautiful!” Danielle exhaled wonder.

My point exactly, Manny thought, but did not say. Recruiting was a subtle thing.

Instead he nudged the water with his shoe, rippling the surface to distort the reflection of the edifice. Almost spitefully the puddle settled back into the sharpest mirror, and Manny half expected his superiors to appear in frowning disappointment at his dismal conversion pace.

“What it is?” Danielle responded to his sigh, her eyes still gazing in the opposite direction of the Netherworld, and therefore opposite to where he needed them to be.

“Nothing,” he muttered, deflated.

Her softly luminescent hand appeared. “How about we go into the church and pray about it?”

 

 

For Crispina‘s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

 

Back In Time

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Photo: Ronan Furuta on Unsplash

 

After years of failure, ridicule, he was finally ready.

To find out the truth. About himself. About where he’d come from. Where he would’ve belonged.

He turned the dial. Held his breath. Grasped the handles. Stepped on the lever.

The world spun.

Time thumped.

A banshee screamed in his ear. Perhaps the wind. Perhaps his own voice.

When vertigo subsided, he swallowed bile. Inhaled. Opened his eyes.

A man in furs crouched near him. Spear in hand.

Boron’s heart flooded with relief and delight.

He knew it!

He was, down to his DNA, a troglodyte.

 

 

 

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

 

Not Forgotten

 

It was his favorite saying, so of course it was the one they chose. Never mind that no one else would understand the meaning. “Others,” he’d say, “have their own stories to hoard or trim or bloat or be rid of.”

They knew that no matter how far Heaven was, he’d see this and smile.

He’d taught them to let go of what held them down.

“Gone!” he would announce, tossing fistfuls of dirt to the wind to aid the transformation. “You’re free of this. You can move on!”

His motto gleamed above the desert sand.

Gone, but not forgotten.

 

 

Photo prompt © Trish Nankivell

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

Waiting

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(Photo: Martha Dominguez de Gouveia on Unsplash)

 

He drooped as hours

Lingered

Without any

News.

He tried to read but

Worry clogged his

Views.

He paced awhile but

Found his feet too heavy

As his hope grew

Weak.

The moments stretched

Their languid

Endless

Streak.

“It’s done,”

A soft voice filtered

To him

Through the mist.

“She’s resting comfortably.

So is your newborn son.”

 

 

 

For Sammi‘s Weekend Writing Prompt: Languid in 57 words

 

Elfie’s Solution

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“Not every elf can be on a shelf.”

Elfie heard this all his life. From his teachers at the Santa Academy. From his parents, Elfonso and Elfinia. From his judgy Aunt Elfisia. And now from his insufferable brother Elfonso Junior (who everyone called EJ), who just had to rub in the fact that he had gotten into the EFS (Elves For Shelves) program, while Elfie did not.

“But what if I want to be an elf on a shelf?” Elfie protested.

“It’s not about what you want,” his mother scolded. “It is about your Efltitude Score.”

“…and,” EJ added with an elfin smirk, “as we all know, you don’t quite measure up.”

If it weren’t for his mother’s presence, Elfie would have tossed EJ under a reindeer.

Thinking of reindeer. And reins … gave him an idea.

No shelf? No problem.

He’d hang out as an elf by himself.

 

 

For Crispina‘s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

Winter’s Tread

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(Photo: Stéphane Juban on Unsplash)

 

When the cold gripped hard

And pulled life from the sinews

Of the earth,

And when the wind screamed wild

Among the emptied branches

Overhead,

She’d seek the warm embrace

Of the inglenook’s fireplace

And write a book

Of summer’s heat

Inside her

Head.

 

 

For the dVerse quadrille poetry challenge: Inglenook

 

Not Long Now

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(Photo: Wilhelm Gunkel on Unsplash)

 

He failed but would not let it go.

He would not let things rest.

He has to prod and press and woe

In niggling senseless tests.

 

He cannot accept evidence.

He contradicts all fact.

His weakness grows in petulance

Yet haggle seems he must.

 

A pity he’s so insecure.

His desperate noisome pouts.

Yet reason in most still endures

And his time will soon run out.

 

 

For Sammi‘s Weekend Writing Prompt: Niggle in 66 words