The Balance

Photo: Sue Vincent

 

 

She did not understand where the castle had gone.

Tumbled walls

Like broken bones.

 

But the well was still there,

And the sword

Wrapped in stone,

Had waited stored

Well ensconced.

 

She took the hilt

Spelled the spell

And the blade pulled out

Clean

Glowing green,

Showing

All was still wrong

Just as all was still well.

 

She took a deep breath

And exhaled.

Because though

Times had changed

At least the balance

Remained.

 

 

For Sue’s Thursday WritePhoto Prompt: Blade

 

First Sighting

SPF 10-07-18 CE AYR 4

Photo Credit: C.E. Ayr

 

Frank said he’d show them. They didn’t know what to expect.

There had been noises coming out of Frank’s garage for the last month. Scraping sounds. Creaks and screeching. Odd lights that did not seem electrical. Scents of things they could not place.

“That’s what happens when you indulge a grown man’s folly,” Mirabelle scowled, bestowing wisdom and a sharp tongue on the gathered neighbors. “Tinkering about instead of doing an honest day’s work.”

Rebecca raised an eyebrow in Dave’s direction and he swallowed a laugh. He had no intention of having his wife succeed in making Mirabelle turn her bottomless well of ire onto him.

“He found it,” Tommy whispered. The towheaded boy lived across the street from Frank and was known to make extensive use of binoculars, not always for savory pursuits.

Dave tilted his head in quasi-invitation.

“In the bog. A round thing. Egg-like. Didn’t sound this big before, though,” Tommy fidgeted.

The racket grew and the assembled quieted. Slowly the garage door rose. Something labored out, scraping massive claws on the driveway’s concrete.

Rebecca gasped. Mirabelle fainted. Frank hung back.

Reptilian eyes regarded them, assessing. As food or foe, Dave was not so sure.

 

 

For the Sunday Photo Fiction Challenge

 

Bones of Monsters

photo by sam loyd via unsplash

Photo: Sam Loyd via Unsplash

 

When she rose from the depths to where the world mirrored dark, she observed the bones of monsters no one disposed of, and the hulks of others poised to glean the phosphorescent plankton from the indigo above.

 

For Three Line Tales #156

 

Aladdin’s Ally

PHOTO PROMPT © Nick Allen

 

He didn’t find it yet, but failure was just motivation to keep trying.

People said playing the lottery was folly. Yet some people won that … and laughed all the way to the bank.

He wasn’t going to let those of little faith dissuade him.

Sure, let them think he was into antique oil and kerosene containers. It kept badgering to a minimum and lent him some credibility in scouting flee markets.

No one needs to know that what he’s really after, is an authentic genie lamp.

He’ll find it, and laugh all the way to the bank.

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

Mr. Stormled’s Undoing

 

SPF 09-23-18 Fandango 2

Photo credit: Fandango

 

“How long does she have to be here?”

I’m sure Martin’s eyebrows would’ve reached the ceiling if they weren’t tied together in a unibrow.

“Mr. Stormled said, at least a month.”

Martin twisted one side of his mouth to bite the corner of his lip, and I knew there were many words he wanted to say and wasn’t. Afraid, perhaps. Many were. There was something about people – if they were people at all – who controlled such things.

Stewart Stormled didn’t frighten me, though. At least not more than most things did. I bent to straighten the small pillow.

“Making her comfortable?”

“Can’t hurt.”

“Dad won’t like this.”

Martin had a point, but Dad wasn’t in charge of this any more. He’d given up that right when he dabbled in what he shouldn’t and left us to clean his mess. Like always.

A moment trickled by.

“You think it’ll work?” For once, Martin’s voice was small.

I sighed and traced the handle of Mr. Stormled’s broken wicker chair. “Yeah. Or Mama will remain a branch forever. Julie says that’s what happened to Grandma … last time Dad tried to use magic.”

 

 

 

For the Sunday Photo Fiction challenge

Gramma’s Right

PHOTO PROMPT © Nathan Sowers

 

“You can come with me,” she insisted.

“Mazie,” I sighed. “You’re old enough to know not to take Gramma’s stories literally.”

The seven-year-old shrugged, and the new pixie cut she’d insisted on and which took away the curls I so adored, glinted in the light.

She glanced at the dilapidated building, then at me. Her face was inscrutable. Was she hesitant or exasperated? Perhaps both?

The moment stretched.

“Gramma’s right,” she sputtered. “You’re too stubborn for your own good.”

And she stepped through the mirror, onto grass, and disappeared into the shack.

 

 

For Friday Fictioneers: August 31 2018

 

Musical Muse

saxophone bridge SmadarHalperinEpshtein

Photo: Smadar Halperin-Epshtein

 

They emerge deep at night

To play tunes out of sight

Giants, trolls, hoards of sprites

To the bridge they alight

Where they’ll sing till first light.

If you listen, you might

Catch a tune fleeting bright

Ode to sax stuck upright.

 

 

For the A Photo A Week Challenge: Music

 

What if bad people forgot how to be bad? (An irreverent fantasy)

broken-umbrella

I was walking home from a meeting the other day and ran into an elderly woman with a walker and a broken umbrella. She looked lost.

I asked her if she was okay, and she shook her head. She couldn’t remember where she was going, then brightened slightly: she had a card. She dug around in her purse, broken umbrella perched over one shoulder and rain drenching her head, keys and change spilling onto the wet pavement. I held my umbrella over her, picked up the fallen items and looked at the card she held out: A senior center. I knew which one–it was quite a ways away. How did she end up so far from it?

She’d been trying to get there and must’ve taken a wrong turn. Got lost. She was flustered–she’s lived in the area a long time but couldn’t get herself oriented to what avenue was where or in what order or how far. She kept repeating an attribute of her destination. A ramp. For wheelchairs and walkers. It had a ramp. She’d been walking and looking for ramps…

I told her not to worry. I knew where she had to go and would walk her there.

On the way and as she looked for ramps and we slowly navigated in the rain that dripped over the edge of her broken umbrella and as we dodged puddles and splashing cars and potholes that snagged the wheels of her walker, she told me (and repeated the same every minute or so) she has “some dementia.” She used to be very independent and “drive all over the place” but now keeps getting confused. She said she tries to leave the house to be with people because “it is important” and because otherwise she sits home alone “and cries like a baby all day.”

My heart ached for her.

Her broken umbrella mirrored her flickering brain–she held on though it barely did what it ought to.
It took us a while to inch our way to the senior center. I kept reassuring her we’ll find the center (with the ramp). She retold me of her dementia. How independent she used to be. Of her forgetting. Her wanting to be with people. Her “crying like a baby” at home.
After I left this sweet lady safe and sound at the center (with the ramp–she was so delighted to see that ramp! Its presence a small proof of her memory still holding on to something!), I walked home and couldn’t help thinking … Wouldn’t it be helpful if instead of this little old lady, some of those who thrive on cruel manipulation, got a touch of dementia?
Irreverent simplicity.
Oh, dementia is no joke, and I did not and do not intend to trivialize it!
Nonetheless I found myself considering how safer our world would be if those who connive to hurt and harm, forgot how to … and instead became immersed in small-radius-activities of afternoon bingo and word-searches. If tyrants and terrorists of all types of violent intrusions, lost interest in victimizing or power-hunger, and instead had their world contract around organized daily existences in protective housing someplace … to be occupied with lunch and naps and no longer be capable of manipulation and scheming …
Just saying.
They would be a far more deserving audience for a bit of dementia, than this sweet woman and so many the world over whose full heart and intellect we can use.
Wouldn’t it be helpful, I thought, to have the wish-to-harm turn dull in those who relish spreading agony?
At least until the shuttle to Pluto was ready …
pluto-stamp

King of the Red Train

A small boy today shared last night’s dream:

“I was the king of the red train. Red is the best. It was even more longer (sic) than the subway and another subway and another subway and it was going very fast like a cheetah and I wasn’t scared because I was the king of the red train.” (slowing to explain) “The king is the boss of the train and the whole country.” (picking up speed again) “And all the people were happy because the train was going so much fast (sic) and that’s very good. You know why?” (pausing, waiting for my query before continuing elatedly) … because they were going to get home before their ice cream melted!” 

train