Fuzz Guard

 

Ducky AtaraKatz

Photo: Atara Katz

 

Listen up

Little fluff

There’ll be no mischief

And stuff.

Best make sure

That you stay

In the shallows,

If you don’t

Wish to meet

Claws as gallows.

There will be no

Dissent

Till wings let you

Ascend.

So since you are yet

To create

Actual feathers,

You will heed

Pond-time rules

By your elders.

 

 

For Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Feathers

 

 

Vulnerable To Sputter

windbreak AmitaiAsif

Photo: Amitai Asif

 

Freedom

Doesn’t require

You relinquish all

Protection,

For without it

Flames become

Vulnerable

To sputter,

Or go astray

In the

Wind.

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Vulnerable in 21 words

 

The Place

Photo prompt: Sue Vincent

 

“I’ll take you to the place,” she promised.

“The place where you came from?” the boy pressed. “Your before home?”

“If it is still there,” she nodded, her eyes clouding over with something between wistfulness and worry.

She watched his eyelids flutter as he curled onto his side and into sleep. There was much to do and little time for it, and still she couldn’t bring herself to rise from his cot. It wasn’t how she thought it would be. It felt too soon. He didn’t know a thing.

Not that she really had a choice, anyhow.

The place. She wasn’t sure exactly what would happen when they got there, or what it would mean to her or to the boy she was entrusted to protect. What would her protection of him entail now that she’d been discovered?

She gazed at the child. He was hers. At least as far as one could belong to someone else, he was.

Most people thought they could not look more different than each other. Her translucent skin to his ebony, her pale eyes to his endless pools of black, her sprinkling of wispy flaxen hair to his rich dark mane. She’d kept his hair in cornrows for tidiness and practicality, but often enough she coaxed him to let her undo them so his hair rose in a magnificent halo about his head. Her princely lion of a child. They didn’t have such locks where she’d come from. He truly was one of a kind.

“Adopted?” nosier people would ask what many others thought but didn’t dare to verbalize.

“In a way,” she’d respond, knowing full well that the answer raised more questions, yet she refused to lie. For he wasn’t. Adopted. Not in the way they’d think.

He was. Just. Hers. Seeded in her before she even understood what he was or would become.

And they were as alike as any, anyhow, considering where she was really from.

A noise jarred her and she looked up to see a mouse scurry across the cabin floor. It reminded her of other footsteps: dangerous and inevitable and far less welcome.

She got up and as the night deepened she did what had to be done. Finally she secured a small bag to her bike and hoisted the still sleeping child into her lap. She wrapped a strip of sheet around them so he could remain snug against her while she pedaled.

She rode through the woods till morning lit the trees and the birds fleeted ahead of her wheels and small living things skittered into the bushes to avoid her.

They knew, she thought, that she was not of them, and neither was the boy who nestled, oblivious, with a head atop her breast.

There would be no hiding who they were. Not anymore.

The light intensified to shine beyond the sun.

There it was. The place. The bright beam.

She dismounted and her legs shook not from hours of pedaling, but from knowing.

And from failure.

She let herself be found out before he was adult enough to continue. She did not protect him long enough to fulfill the promise he held for their kind.

The ship’s beam wavered and the gears in her heart thudded as the light shimmered sorrow through her skin.

They’ll take only him.

 

 

 

For Sue Vincent’s WritePhoto Challenge

 

The Toll

Alabaster_canopic_jar_with_portrait_of_Imseti,_Egyptian,_800_Wellcome_L0058406

Photo: Alabaster canopic jar (Wikimedia)

 

She was impervious to their taunting.

To the words

That meant to hurt

But found no inlet

No crack

In what seemed her

Flawless control.

 

She was impervious to others’ love

As well.

The doors of her alabaster soul

Had slammed shut

After her spirit had peeked

Out

Only to find more harm

Than she knew she would be able

To endure if she were to

Somehow

Remain whole.

 

She was impervious to much,

But not to beauty.

She could not give up

That

Without crumbling.

And so she lived

In stoic

Understanding

Of the world,

And its toll.

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Impervious in 99 words

 

 

Berry Barbs

barbed berry NaamaYehuda

Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

Baby berries

In barbed bushes

That protect

The precious parcels

From beaks and bears

And plucking fingers

Poised to pry

The ripe supply.

 

 

For Becky’s Spiky Squares

 

What Matters Most

Newborn A YiscaFreeman

Photo: Yisca Freeman

 

What matters most

Are those we wrap

In loving arms

To keep from harm.

What matters most

Are those who hold

All future steps

Yet to unfold.

 

 

For Nancy Merrill’s Photo a week challenge

 

Guarded

guarded NaamaYehuda

Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

Sentinels

Set in stone

Guard gates of

This temple zone.

Come to leave

You must pass

By these guards

From the past,

Who protect it

Perhaps

From time’s

Inevitable collapse.

 

 

For the Lens-Artists Challenge: Doors and doorways

 

Berry Byway

Blackberry way AmitaiAsif

Photo: Amitai Asif

 

Bravely walk the briar byways

Brushed to either side by burrs

Each step bordered by the brambles

That await the birth of berries

And bar the fruit from brazen strays.

 

 

For the Which Way Photo Challenge

 

Relative Safety

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

“Should be safe to rest here,” Ron lowered Percy’s carrier. The straps left red gouges on his shoulders. The boy was too big to be carried but we had to leave the wheelchair behind.

Ron rolled his neck, glanced at the underpass’s puddle, and reached for the tablets. “I’ll purify some water.”

“Will they find us, Mama?” Percy put words to my heartache. He’d endured silently through miles of jarring terrain.

“We’ve been careful,” I looked into his worried eyes as I massaged the contracted limbs. “Also, new laws or not, we won’t let you be taken by Leave-Only-Abled-Children raids.”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Pink Strong

Pink AtaraKatz

Photo: Atara Katz

 

Underneath the soft plumage

And pretty colors

Afield,

Resides a strength to protect

From those who violence

Wield.

Underneath the pink top

The hat of power

Revealed,

Live truths of how both

Softness and thorns

Are required

To be healed.

 

 

For the Sunday Stills Challenge: Make mine pink