Bronzed

ccc191

 

“How will I know it’s over?” Marika fretted.

“You will,” Jurena assured. A month older, she was already Bronzed.

“But …”

“But nothing …” Jurena lowered the edge of the tent and stole away. She wasn’t supposed to be anywhere near Marika. Especially not tonight.

Marika listened to the silence. She shivered and tried to not think of Undine, her neighbor, who had never reappeared. Not all did.

The darkness filled her, thick as molasses. Her limbs grew heavy. Her ears began to ring.

Perhaps it was the magic.

Perhaps it was that drink.

Shadows entered, and Marika’s mind filled with molten spears, lava on dried grass. Encroaching. Coming near.

The fire lit her from within. The biting ants. The heat. The pain.

She screamed.

Perhaps she dreamed.

By dawn the elders had removed the gloves. The bullet ants were still.

Marika’s hands were bronzed with stings.

An adult’s.

Her childhood scoured clear.

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

Note: I don’t know why this photo brought up the image of a years-ago-seen video about Initiation With Ants video, filmed by National Geographic. But for some reason it did, and so I let it take me where it wanted to lead.

 

Restashed

everyday-basics-GJY1eAw6tn8-unsplash

 

She packed her bag and stashed

Her dreams into the

Locket

That held them

In the past.

She shut the door

And sighed.

She must

Return to what she’d left

Behind.

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Return in 31 words

 

An Opportunity To Gamble

Abel Tasman Coast Track InbarAsif

(Photo: Inbar Asif)

 

As she rose out of

Her previous life’s bramble,

She knew there was going to be

The opportunity

To gamble.

With the way her life

Could turn.

With costs and possible

Return.

On what she’d have to do

Again.

And yet, there was, she hoped,

So much

To gain.

So when once more her choice of cards fell

In a shamble,

She laughed because it was

Just a preamble,

To craft herself a new

Ensemble.

 

 

Written just for fun, for Linda’s SoCS prompt of “amble”

Laid-Back Lizzie

circe-denyer-W_8Tivmufmo-unsplash

(Photo: Circe Denyer on Unsplash)

 

Laid-back Lizzie

Would not be pressed

Into a tizzy.

She left herself

With ample

Time,

To saunter to and

From her

Crime.

She kept pace

When sirens blared

And ambled on

As others stared.

She did not hold

With running

Fast.

But strolling was what

Caught up with her

At last.

 

 

 

For Sammy’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Saunter in 51 words

 

On The Bright Side

anton-darius-jvR9ieZVG64-unsplash

(Photo by Anton Darius on Unsplash)

 

The party rocked. Music thrummed through her soles and the edges of her vision blurred.

I’m buzzed, she thought. Tipsy. Perhaps even drunk.

It did not matter that there was no alcohol in the bowl.

The cheer was what intoxicated her.

The brightly colored joy.

So much better than last week’s funeral, she thought. That energy had depleted her. Dark. Gray. Thirsting.

For another sip.

She smiled to let the pavonine life-liquor of the child’s birthday party pour right into her. 

 

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: pavonine in 81 words

 

Familiar Patience

andreea-popa-6ST6S6i9IGM-unsplash

(Photo: Andreea Popa on Unsplash)

 

She probably thought that she had found him. However, it was he who had found her. That is, if seeking her directly could be claimed a discovery.

He did not rub it in. There was no need.

Like the others, she was going to learn at her own pace. Humans could not be hurried. Not even those with above average affinity.

So he waited. Stared. Rubbed against her. Swished his tail. Licked his paws.

Magic lessons.

From her familiar.

 

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Familiar in 79 words

 

No Thoroughfare

ccc157

 

“Mama, come quick!”

Marybeth lifted her eyes from the soapy water and straightened, rubbing her aching back with a dripping hand. Luke’s face was flushed. The boy was excitable, and she was of a mind to scold him for being over-dramatic, but something in the whites of his eyes stayed her tongue.

“What is it?”

“Just come, Mama, please!”

She sighed and wiped her hands on her apron. “Come where?”

“The back. By the woodlands,” Luke ran ahead, turned, returned, and grabbed her hand. Hurrying her.

“Slow down, boy, nothing to be gained by spraining ankles.”

He inhaled as if to argue, but did not. Good lad.

They walked.

What on…?

She grabbed his shoulder and felt him shiver.

Whatever had gone through had to be monstrous.

The sun found a cloud. A shadow grew. A full moon was soon to follow.

Ankles be damned.

They turned and ran.

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

In Every Dawn

New Dawn

(Photo: Na’ama Yehuda)

 

The light spun silent waves

Of day

Into her heart,

Her chambers slowly opening

Their delicate petals

To sing

The morning’s chant.

There is a hope,

She knows,

In every dawn.

Its breath imparting

An oasis

And a coming home.

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Oasis in 40 words

 

Nourished

(Red Cardinal in Central Park – Photo: Na’ama Yehuda)

 

There was naught

That she needed

But a path

And some green

And a burbling stream

And wide sky

Overhead.

 

So she felt deeply nourished

By the flowers,

And the gift of bird

Who landed by her feet

To share

Her burden

And bread.

 

 

 

For the dVerse quadrille poetry challenge: stream

 

The Creek Don’t Rise

 

ccc141

 

“Tomorrow, God willing and the creek don’t rise!” Mama smacked the rug one last time, stepped back to admire her handiwork, nodded to herself, and shouldered the beater.

“But Mama,” Marlee whined, “everyone else is going!”

I watched the exchange from the safety of a leafy fork on the big tree. If Mama didn’t see me, she could not call on me for chores.

Mama stopped. “Everyone?”

Marlee straightened. Hopeful and suspicious.

“Every. Single. Person?”

Marlee’s shoulders dropped.

“Thought so.” Mama’s dress swirled prettily as she turned toward the cabin, and for a moment I could see the lass she’d been before Bobby and I and Marlee came and brought with us gray hairs and wrinkles.

“But …”

“But nothing. The creek is swelled with rain and more may be coming. No swimming. And,” she added, “You come down from that tree. I need help with the washing.”

 

 

 

For Crispina‘s Crimson’s Creative Challenge