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.”

 

Not Quite

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(Photo: Kajetan Sumila on Unsplash)

 

He was, but not quite, a solitudinarian.

He lived alone. His homestead perched atop a bluff where steep trails provided an effective fencing.

He offered bare gruff care for stranded hikers whose calculations of the weather led them to beg shelter.

Townspeople cast shadows on his hermitage. No sane man, they insisted, would give up their company.

He differed.

He came down from the mountain only rarely, for provisions he could not otherwise procure, his expression ascertaining that friendship remained off that list.

And yet.

He loved. The one. Before.

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: solitudinarian in 90 words

 

Writing In The Sand

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She shifted her weight and sand squeezed warm between her toes. Heated not by sun – the orb still far too distant in such early spring – but because she’s been standing still so long that the permeating chill under her soles relented to the constant pulse of lifeblood in her veins.

A bird called. Another bird returned. An insect buzzed a disharmonious song. It will be summer soon.

She felt her chest rise in a breath and her eyes skimmed the expanse of shimmering ground, patient, waiting for the tide.

Today, perhaps, he’ll come.

Today, maybe, he will return home from the wild, where waves rose high and ships dipped low to the ocean’s floor.

There was a writing in the sand. A code left by the crabs. The gulls. The seaweed.

She waited. Wavelets licked her feet.

Perhaps today something of him will wash ashore.

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

Make The Move

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Rupert had always taken things too literally.

Now she would be stuck with the same leak around the toilet bowl when the boys flush a bit too long; with the same creaky closet door that slithers nightmares in her dreams when Mat-The-Cat decides to make a bed of laundered linen; and with the crooked shelf in the pantry that requires a perfected fold of cardboard to ensure the flour box does not slide off.

It never was the outside scenery she needed changing.

She watched one half roll by and realized she did not care to wait for the other.

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt © Ted Strutz

 

The Seeing

 

“When I die,” she’d say, “I will not be truly away from you.”

Both sides of the statement used to worry him when he was little.

“Will I see you?” He once fretted. It was the day they had buried the pup who did not last the night. The runt who never whined and did not wriggle by the time the sun awoke. They’d laid the tiny bundle under a small mound of dirt in the yard. And it was lost to sight.

“In a manner of speaking,” Grandma had replied, untroubled. “For not all seeing is done with eyes.”

He did not understand her then.

Or when she died.

He wasn’t sure he understood her still, with many years passed.

Her absence a hole in his heart.

Then he came across the giant burl.

And he felt her in it. Waiting. Smiling. Seen.

He carved her out.

 

 

For Crispina‘s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

Best Of All

 

It rained. It hailed. It stormed. It flooded.

It none of it mattered.

They laughed. They sang. They danced. They huddled.

They had a chance to reconnect.

In all the ways that mattered, and in some they hadn’t quite dared hope for, yet came true.

Oh, they were cold. And after a time, hungry.

But still the stories flowed. The tears, sometimes. The laughter. Oh, the laughter!

Best of all, the others who would otherwise pass by,

Who would pass judgment,

Did not.

Because the weather

Protective in its dreary wetness

Let them be.

Let them love.

Made it perfect.

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt: © Dale Rogerson

Initiation

 

“Close your eyes. Feel the levers of the earth move with you,” Moria deposited the words like diamonds lined on velvet cloth.

Lianne obeyed the first. Tried hard for the second. But all she felt were the tremors in her body, bare skin shuddering against penetrating morning chill. And the fear.

“Breathe in the cold, breathe out the worry.” The old woman’s voice affected little compassion, yet there was no shaming in it. Just instruction.

Lianne tried, but her shaking only intensified. Perhaps I am not ready, she fretted.

“You are ready,” Moria stated.

Lianne gasped. Could her mentor read her mind?

“No, but I’ve seen enough initiates.”

The elder’s chuckle, puncturing the solemn task, somehow eased Lianne’s mind. Her body calmed. Her eyes relaxed behind the wrap. Her toes curled around the softness of the mossy ground. The bottom step offered a damp welcome.

“Better. Now climb.”

 

 

 

 

For Crispina‘s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

The Bobblins

 

The moon hid on the night they lit the Bobblins. Nature’s cold dark shoulder. Though Gary said it was Luna’s way of lending them the main stage free of luminescent interference.

Renee still felt a shudder run down her spine.

It was the depths of it.

The weight of memories that bobbed and swayed and listed ever so slightly over the mirrored pond.

Even the wind ceased. For the moment.

Was it, too, leaving the stage free of routine rustling, the air’s microphone open to the whispers of the babies, cocooned in color coded pastel uteri, waiting to be born?

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt: © David Stewart

 

 

New Neighbor

 

“What on earth?! Have you seen her?”

Molly looked up from her coffee. The swirl of mocha infiltration on the milk froth in her cup was fascinating. She licked her upper lip, tasting calm and morning.”Seen who?”

“Her!” Abby flicked her head urgently in the direction of the kitchen window.

“Do I have to?” Molly pouted. Her sister was altogether too excitable. Surely there was naught wrong with sitting idly with one’s breakfast. However, she could not recall the last time Abby did anything but gobble down her toast, gulp her tea, and pop right up in search of dishes to wash, counters to wipe, cabinets to put to order, or lists to make.

Abby’s chest rose in what was certain to turn lecture.

Molly sighed, stood, and craned her neck to see. White uniform. Red crosses. Pink rubber gloves. “Oh, her? Sheri. Our new neighbor. A nurse or such.”

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

Tiny Tidings

 

The dreary times were soon to pass.

No matter that her breath still steamed both outdoors and inside the drafty house. No matter that her red fingers barely bent with swelling and that the chilblains on her toes still burned and ached and itched. No matter that she took so long to warm come night that she almost despaired of sleeping.

The dreary times were soon to pass.

She knew.

True, it was still frosty.

But the cold was dying.

She knew, because the ice formed only on the very edges of her washbasin and because what frost adorned the ground in the morning would transmute into miniature mirrors of dew by the time the sun rose higher in the sky.

And because she saw the primrose.

Blooming.

Out there.

In audacious glee.

If the tiny flowers could endure the remnants of frigidity, so could she.

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge