Lady In Waiting

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(Photo: Na’ama Yehuda)

 

If he could make it there, he’d make it anywhere.

It was the axiom he had placed everything on.

He held on to the promise when his body hurt from beatings. He played the image of it in his mind when emptiness of heart and stomach kept him from shut-eye. He whispered small encouragements to himself to drown the insults that insisted he was nothing.

For he was. Someone.

He had to believe.

The words she said.

About where he could be.

Himself.

If he lived.

So he did.

And lit beneath storm clouds, she stood, waiting.

For the day.

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers (Thank you for using my photo as a prompt this week!)

 

Tethered To The Queen

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(Photo: Andrés Gómez on Unsplash)

 

If only they had thought to mark their way, perhaps they wouldn’t have lost it.

Then again, the whole idea of running away was to forgo discovery. Leaving shiny pebbles would have made the whole endeavor be over well before it had began.

They trudged along. Bellies emptier than in hungry nights before.

There was a misery in a scrabbled-for freedom. And yet at least their torsos did not suffer the indignity of another whip.

Eliah’s stomach growled. He sighed. “Only mouths are we.”

“Who sings the distant heart which safely exists in the center of all things?” Lilah responded, distracting him.

The boy grinned through tired tears. He knew the correct reply. The moon of course.

He pointed at the sky.

His grandmother’s nod was filled with pride.

For one was never lost while their heart stayed tethered to the night’s reigning queen.

 

 

 

For the dVerse Prosery challenge

Prosery prompt: “Only mouths are we. Who sings the distant heart which safely exists in the center of all things?from Rainer Maria Rilke, “Heartbeat.”

 

False Freedom

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(Photo: Jon Tyson on Unsplash)

 

“We believe in freedom,” they proclaimed,

“So of course you’re free to choose!”

Then they added

As her lips began to show

Relief,

“Just as long as what you choose

Is what we say you must

Believe.”

“For after all,” they stressed

When she blinked at

The paradox,

“We cannot have you

Infringing on our freedom,

When it is

Your body for us to be free

To make the choices

For.”

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Paradox in 71 words

 

Slip From Grip

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Enslaved persons cutting sugar cane on the Island of Antigua, 1823, (The British Library)

 

 

She fed them well so

They would

Sleep,

And silently

She gave the slip,

To all she knew

Yet did not sweep

Away the bite

Of whip.

She fled,

So the child in

Her belly’s keep,

Would not writhe, helpless,

In another person’s

Grip.

 

 

For the dVerse quadrille challenge: slip

(Note: Dedicated to all who suffered and still suffer under the yoke of injustice, discrimination, racism, and pretense. We can do better than this. We must do better than this.)

 

 

 

 

After-Party

Prompt photo: Pixabay

 

They were going to put them there to remember, they said. To frame the recollections of the community, so none of what had happened be forgotten. That’s what they said.

It was meant as a memorial of sort, they said. A referendum of the eye. Intended to draw the faces upwards and lend a sense of a somber chaos, carefully controlled.

Perhaps it was all that. Yet it was so much more.

For the installation was also meant to keep the chairs out of reach. To take away the possibility of seating. To have people stand and look and move on, rather than linger or make themselves oh-too-comfortable. Again.

Because it was the idleness – those in power believed but did not say – that had led to the gatherings and speeches and protests and that weekend party-turned-riot. People got too comfortable in using public spaces as if those were a right rather than a privilege. They sat. They lingered. They huddled together and began to think they should have the power to decide how they passed their spare time, where and who with they sat. Mutiny, it was.

The police were sent to squash it.

And put all the chairs up.

 

 

For Donna’s Sunday Photo Fiction prompt

In Thrall

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Photo: Lancaster Ohio 1938

 

He was enthralled.

His fate decided

By those who bought

And sold

The humans they preferred

To see as lesser than,

In order to exact a price

For their own

Self-aggrandizing,

Once freed,

His slavery was still

Held against him

In deliberate inequity,

His struggles mocked

As ‘proof’ he hadn’t been trying

Hard enough.

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Enthrall in 54 words

 

 

Wild Places

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Photo: Ofir Asif

 

Find wild places inside your

Self,

Where vistas stretch

Your heart.

Climb peaks you did not know

Exist.

Let freedom

Joy impart.

 

 

 

For the Lens-Artist Challenge: Wild

 

 

High-Tail

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Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

Silver light danced on waves

Under skies of

Mercurial clouds,

And she pranced

On the sand

Tail up high

Free and proud.

 

 

(Note: No filter or editing was used on this photo. These were the true colors that day)

For Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: tongues and tails

 

Her Best Dress

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Photo by Prince Akachi via Unsplash

 

“Come.” She said. She pulled him up and dried his face with the edge of her best dress.

“Where?” He hiccupped, too spent for sobs. Everything hurt.

“Away.” Her voice was soft but hard. “We’ll be miles from here by the time he wakes up.”

 

For Three Line Tales, Week 131