Their Homecoming

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The seas were rough but that did not deter them. Wet ropes dug deeply into palms, the ripples in rough fibers matching the wiry muscles that strained in their necks, shoulders, arms.

Endlessly, the night dragged on. The ocean swelled and sunk and breathed and coughed all around them.

Still they kept their posts, secured to heaving decks with belts and makeshift harnesses.

When darkness finally waned and dawn returned, the contours of the mountains rose alongside them.

They shook the salt from reddened eyes and readied for the final passage.

Their boat was broken, but their hearts were home.

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt © Ted Strutz

 

 

A Heart of Stone

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“All you have is this little wheelbarrow?”

Marsha nodded.

Shelly shook his head.

“I don’t mind how long it takes,” the despair in Martha’s voice was overshadowed by determination. “And anyway, this won’t be too heavy.”

Shelly shrugged. “You’d change your mind after you make a few trips pushing this rusty thing uphill against the wind.”

In the weeks that followed Marsha wondered more than once if her brother had conjured the wind just to spite her. Dust and grit found purchase in her eyes and throat. Her palms grew red, then raw, then rough.

And still, she pushed the loaded wheelbarrow through gravel and scrub brush and small canyons of cracked earth that manifested overnight upon the path she forged across the steppe.

Slowly the grave-marker took shape.

“I’ve brought the stones from our creek, Mama,” she whispered as she placed each carefully. “Your heart will never again thirst.”

 

 

 

For Crispina‘s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

On The Road Again

 

All those of little faith who did not think he’d go for it!

They must be turning in their graves or keening over walkers. Also the doctors who shook heads at him. The nurses who fussed with his linens as if treating him as an invalid would have him forget that he’s a grown man who had lifted others and carried them first across burning sands and later out of burning buildings.

He always knew that where the rubber meets the road is where he’d meet his maker.

He’d left the Rolex.

The aide can always get another motorcycle.

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt © Lisa Fox

 

Not All

 

“We must cancel!” Ruth’s voice was reedy with tension.

“We must not!” Tomas retorted more sharply than he’d intended.

Ruth flinched and turned away. Her shoulders trembled.

Tomas wanted to kick himself. “I’m sorry, Love,” he tried.

Her head shook, but she turned back to him and buried her face in his chest.

“It is all ruined,” she sobbed, pointing at the storm’s devastation.

“Not all,” he wrapped arms around her.

A long breath shuddered, then Ruth’s eyes, glistening, found his.

“No, not all,” she repeated. Breathed.

His own knees weakened. His Ruth of Awe and Fire.

His bride. Today.

 

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt © Brenda Cox

 

Turning Up

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(Photo: Brett Jordan on Unsplash)

 

There had to be a way

To be heard,

Without becoming

What they fought

Against.

They refused to condone

Violence,

Hate,

Or putting others down

To make a point.

Instead,

They turned up

A crescendo

Of truths.

 

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Crescendo in 37 words

 

Almost Ready

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She practiced every day the sea was calm and some days when it was not but the waves called her anyway.

“Your lips will permanently blue,” Lucy, her twin, chided.

Leena shook her head and tightened the proffered towel around her shoulders. Her fingers were numb and the damp cloth almost slipped.

Lucy sighed. She used her brooch to pin together the towel’s ends, then rubbed Leena’s back to help the blood flow. She could not dissuade her younger-by-ten-minutes sister from swimming. Leena was all stubbornness once she’d set her mind to something. But Lucy could make sure Leena did not go to the beach alone, and that someone was there to help warm her up and get her safely home.

“I’m almost ready, Lucy,” Leena gasped through chattering teeth. “Next time Cousin Ned visits, I’ll beat him to the logs. He will not get to call me Weakleena again!”

 

 

For Crispina‘s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

 

A Leap Of Faith

 

She always knew the road could end.

Rickety throughout, it got almost impassable in places. It was a folly, she’d been told. A fool’s errand. Doomed to fail.

The way had never been fully completed, quite possibly never fully traversed. So many had abandoned it that there would be no rest stops, no soft places to lay one’s head.

Indeed, each step confirmed the lack of maintenance.

Still, it was her path to take, her journey to attempt.

And when she faced the maw, the utter void of all support, she knew.

She could turn back.

Or she could leap.

 

 

 

For Rochelle‘s Friday Fictioneers

Photo Prompt: © Alicia Jamtaas

 

 

Only Cooler

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(Photo: Chagit Moriah Gibor)

 

It was going to be a gargantuan effort, but that had never stopped her before.

No matter what others always said she could do.

The skis were first. Adjusted to work over the wheels like skids on seaplanes. Only cooler.

Literally.

She slid through the ice and snow to find a clean patch. Shoveled up the snow onto her lap to press into a ball. Rolled and patted. Devised a ramp and pulley to hoist the second ball. Plopped on the third. Poked in twigs.

There.

Lopsided, but so was she.

Her snowman. Wheelchair be damned.

 

 

 

For Sammi‘s Weekend Writing Prompt: Gargantuan in 96 words

 

 

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

 

Fully Drawn

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(Photo: Al Battison on Unsplash)

 

She could not help the pull of lore

And hopes that drew on her

Heart like a magnet right into

The polar

Opposite of what

She had been raised to

Know and

Want.

For how could she possibly

Be anything but

What she

Was?

 

 

For the dVerse quadrille poetry challenge