Be The Judge

BlueWhite DvoraFreedman

Photo: Dvora Freedman

 

“You’ll be the judge of it,” he said.

He held the door for her and she hesitated a moment before slipping into the passenger seat. She buckled in part out of habit and part as security against the anticipated whiplash of yet another disappointment.

He drove in silence and she was grateful for it. They were beyond words by now, anyhow.

Roadside scenery shimmered by through a sudden squall.

“We’re here,” he said.

She must’ve fallen asleep.

“Say yes, and I’ll sign the papers,” he breathed.

She blinked. How did he find her dream house?

 

 

 

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

 

Chew On This

blaze bonfire campfire dark

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

He had never been so hungry.

Not even when he’d gone without food for three days to win a dare. Perhaps because at least then the food was there, available to him had he gotten too weak or ravenous enough to render the challenge unappetizing.

He’d won that bet. And the mountain bike his friend was cocky enough to suggest as the prize.

The same bike — and all his gear atop it — that now lay twisted at the end of some ravine he had no hope of reaching. The bike that would have dragged him down to the same end had he not, in some unknown reflex of survival, thrown himself off the seat and against the rocky walls of what he’d thought was a sort-of-trail.

It first it was the abrasions that caused him the most suffering. The skinless arms and cheek. The raw wound on his shoulder where his shirt had ripped.

Then night came and it was the cold.

And the next day, the hunger.

He had nothing on him. No knife. No phone. Not even a lighter. He’d been so proud to dress the bike with a complicated harness to carry everything he needed for his week-long trek. Now he was naked of supplies. Bare of any protection or wherewithal, alone in the wilderness, and ignorant of how to make do without the gadgets he’d never given a thought to the possibility of not having.

Ignorant, too, of the consequences of veering off the path “to test the bike’s capabilities.” He had told a couple of friends he was planning to go for a bike ride, but he had planned to surprise them with his accomplishment post-trek, and in his hubris did not notify them when, where to, or how long for.

Off the trail and into the “uncharted.” He’d felt strong. He’d felt courageous. He’d felt the braggadocio reverberating underneath his ribs.

Now no one knew where he was.

Or when to expect him.

Or that he deseprately needed aid.

He’d never been so hungry. Or so tired. Or so hurting. Or so scared.

He couldn’t help thinking of how someone would one day find what was left of him. That is if some animal did not find him first.

He stopped to rest when the new blisters on his feet had burst and the pain of another raw place was too much to manage.

His shoulder throbbed. His head. His hand where it had slammed against the rock and left two of his fingers black and unbending. He checked the sky and realized a third day was about to end and he was just as lost as he had been the ones before. And hungrier.

He cried a bit. There was no one in front of whom to be ashamed.

Or so he thought.

He woke to warmth and thought he’d died already. The weight of something on his torso must have been the earth, though he couldn’t bother to try and consider who’d have dug a grave.

Then a smell wafted to him and his stomach clenched in painful hunger. Surely not even hell would torment so in death!

He cracked open an eyelid to the view of a lively fire and a shadowed figure stirring something over a corner of coals. He blinked. The figure was still there. He swallowed, and his mouth was not as dry as it should have been. There was a taste of sweetness on his tongue, as well. He coughed just to hear his own voice.

The head swiveled toward him and he could not discern any of its features against the brightness of the flames. A hand reached back into a pack and rummaged, then the legs straightened and the person unfurled and stepped toward him. He squinted but still could not see the face. He wasn’t even sure it was a man.

“Here,” the voice confirmed. A woman, and not a young one. Not warm but by her actions so far, not unkind. “Jerky. Chew on this until the stew is done.”

 

 

 

For Linda’s SoCS challenge: Chew/Choo

 

When She Leaves

shallow focus photography of brown tree trunk

Photo: Mahima on Pexels.com

 

When she leaves, there will be time enough for all the things that should have happened and yet didn’t. When she leaves, a space will open to allow what was yearned for but manifested not. When she leaves — in a week or month or year or decade — a leaf would turn to let the newness grow.

When she leaves.

Yet for the time being she remains.

She has no choice. Or not a real one.

She plods along the rutted path made by the heavy feet she’d dragged so many times before. She does what must be done. She smiles. She nods. She cooks. She holds.

She finds in every day a small reminder of the hope. A sliver of a dream. A memory of what is yet to come.

It sustains her.

It has to.

It’s all she has.

Until she leaves.

 

 

 

For the SoCS writing prompt: Leaves

 

 

The Richness Of You

sunrise florida NaamaYehuda

Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

If a hollowing sorrow

Catches your breath in a

Hold

And then folds

Like a snail

Into what can’t

Be told …

Let the richness

Of you

Spread like gold

From a long ago story

Foretold,

Like the waves’

Gentle touch

On a morning’s

Threshold.

 

 

 

For dVerse’s quadrille challenge: Rich

 

 

Breath Power

blow OsnatHalperinBarlev

Photo: Osnat Halperin-Barlev

 

Let the power

Of breath

Churn the air

Fill the earth.

Let the wind

Fill your sails

As you learn

To exhale.

Let the future

Flow clear

And may hope

Draw you near.

 

 

 

For One Word Sunday: Power

 

 

Cute Factor

Puppy ToniHadi

Photo: Toni Hadi

 

He was born without home

And no prospect of more

But his adorability-factor

Ensured

He’d capture good hearts

Galore!

 

 

For Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Cute factor

 

 

Springing Time

Central Park early spring NaamaYehuda

Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

They push up

Through cold ground

Where morning frost

Still abounds

And color

The park

So a new spring

Can spark.

 

 

(Not quite this year’s spring photo … yet – this one being from early spring in 2017 – but it nonetheless infuses hope for soon-to-be cousins of these blooms enlivening the park!)

For Terri’s Sunday Stills: Spring

 

A Fleeting Equilibrium

balancing rock formation

Photo: Tina Nord on Pexels.com

 

She held her breath and waited for the instant

In time

Where Earth’s equator passed through

The center of the sun.

Imperfectly balanced

As it was

By arcs and tilt and latitudes,

She cared not about

The argument that it could never be

In ideal form,

Or that the exact timing

Varied

With convictions

And perceptions of the mind.

She paused nonetheless,

Determined

To witness the fleeting equilibrium

Of light and dark,

And the shift of balance

That it could,

perhaps today, allow.

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Equinox in 83 words

 

Salted

dead sea dry OsnatHalperinBarlev

Photo: Osnat Halperin-Barlev

 

In the cracked curl

Of earth

Baked in sun

And ancient salt,

The Dead Sea

Awaits a

Flawed flow of

Redemption,

Or a whitened end.

 

 

For Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Texture