Left Hanging

sole-shoe CrispinaKemp

 

She didn’t need to be quite so blunt.

Not that she ever did mince words. Or hold back actions.

It was what he loved about her. It was also what became exhausting. Fending off arguments. Splitting hairs.

He wasn’t averse to a good conversation, but was it really necessary to have confrontations about the best-by-date of parsley or whether T-shirts needed to be folded a certain way or whether such-and-such celebrity looked better before their latest procedure or if they ought to order red or yellow apples?

“You’re apathetic to the world!” she’d accused. “If you don’t care about small things, how would you care about the bigger issues?”

His sigh only infuriated her.

Perhaps it’s better that she left. But did she really have to hang her purple shoe, the one he’d gotten her, outside his window?

She used to be his princess. Now he was a stepsister.

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

 

Skyward

(Photo: Na’ama Yehuda)

 

They rose in steady hum of

Motors aiming to break

Clouds

And dispersed the waves upon the

Sand as life skittered

Aground.

They pointed nose into the

Sky with souls holding on well

And fast

As engines revved anew

And headed home

At last.

 

For the dVerse quadrille challenge: sky

 

No Country Bumpkin

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Photo by Eric Muhr on Unsplash

 

She was not a country bumpkin

Though she aspired to

Be one.

So she dressed the part

And practiced

How to walk and talk

In twang,

And she hoped to look

Uncultured

To the folk stopping

In store,

So they’d believe

She was

Hardcore.

 

 

For the dVerse quadrille challenge: bum

 

 

Brief Impact

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Photo: Esperanza Algaba Davila on Unsplash

 

They didn’t think they’d leave such an impression. After all, they were only passing through, a transient band of transients in a town built on foundations set in stone.

And yet, as they left, colored wagons clattering on paved roads not made for wooden wheels or tender hooves, they were followed by a line of children.

Like a piped piper for the unloved. Seeking a better home.

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Impact in 67 words

 

 

 

Their Bag End

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Photo: Tyler Lastovich on Unsplash

 

They never did make it back from their destination. Not for lack of trying. Not for lack of plans. Not even for lack of courage or stamina or all the things that make a journey circular. There and back again. Like Bilbo Baggins looking for an adventure and finding more than he had bargained for (or perhaps precisely what he needed); they, too, found more along the way than they had intended.

The path slowed everything. Time turned to stone.

And when it was over, said and done, it was a time and there was never enough of it.

They took too long.

So much that life passed by before it could lead them back to where they had come from.

Perhaps where they ended was precisely where they needed to go.

Only that unlike Bilbo, they did not return to their Bag End.

 

 

(Prompt: from “A Time” by Allison Adelle Hedge Coke)

For the dVerse Prosery Challenge: A Time

 

 

Special Delivery

the-gate JeanLHays

Photo prompt: Jean L. Hays

 

The car honked twice then twice again before the tires crunched on gravel and the vehicle left in a puff of midday dust.

She smiled.

She could always count on Henry.

There was a time when he could ring her bell. When she could offer him a glass of lemonade.

Not now, so close to her transplant date.

She waited a moment before venturing to the gate, and smiled again when she saw he’d taken the card she’d left. She knew he’d made a special trip.

He brought the birthday cake from her daughter, still cold, wrapped in fancy tape.

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

 

If Tied

gatepost CrispinaKemp

 

“If tied,” she said, “come by.”

“If not…?” he asked.

Her shake of head stilled any of the questions he had swirling inside his. It cooled his urge to argue. He knew it wouldn’t help. He knew it would only make what was already unlikely, impossible.

In the days that followed he found every reason to visit the gatepost. He wasn’t meant to come too close, but the nearby field offered cloves that his mare suddenly required, and there were numerous trips to town that merited taking exactly the dirt road that hugged parts of the property.

He drooped with every thread-less passing.

He couldn’t sleep.

He felt angry, worried, sick.

Till one day, as he rode by on an errand for a parcel, he saw it. A pink thread. Tied.

Her parents relenting.

They’d let him court her. Even though his father, in his drunkenness, had killed their son.

 

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

 

Eventually

Photo: Sue Vincent

 

He spent the day lying in the field. Waiting.

Eventually someone would miss him, or wonder about how come he is so late.

Eventually they will think of sending someone to check.

For the moment, all he could do was gaze up at the skies, his leg in an angle that no leg should be in, and his breath curtailed to the smallest gasps as to limit the stabbing pain that traveled through him – like a snake’s bite and a red-hot poker combined – if his lungs filled up enough to move the lower part of his torso. He’d never been more acutely aware of how all joints connect.

A marvel, really.

And a pain.

He almost laughed at his own joke only to remember the infinite well of torture that he’s been finding over the hours he’d been this way. There was no bottom. Only crests of agony he could know and not know of, ride and fall off of, let be and let go.

In the first hour after it happened he’d been angry at himself for the stupidity of attempting to leverage boulders that should not be attempted solo. The stick, not sturdy as he’d hoped, snapped in half, sending him to the ground in an way he could not reconstruct for the blinding nausea of torment that had ensued. He didn’t know what part of his leg it was that broke, or not exactly. Raising his head even just a little led to the world spinning and a blackness closing in, and not only from the clouds that seemed to gather.

He wasn’t angry anymore. There was nothing left in him to spare on blame.

The grayness above grew heavy. It would not be long before the rain.

He’d be miserable in the muddy wet.

It would also bring people faster. They would not expect him to misread the weather. They’ll question. They’ll come.

A drop tickled his nose and he suppressed a sneeze, almost crying with desperation to avoid more pain.

A call sounded, and for a fraction of a second his heart soared. But in the next, awareness filled in: it was not a human’s.

He opened his eyes to a quartet of geese flying overhead. Wings flapping asynchronously against a rising wind.

“Fly safe,” he mouthed, eyes overflowing with misery in spite of himself. They could move. He was jealous. He was helplessly alone.

More drops fell. Tears or rain, it did not matter.

He held on to the imprint of the silhouettes against the spitting heavens.

Soon, his family will realize he hadn’t come home. Soon they’ll wonder about it enough to worry where he was. They’ll send someone.

For the moment, all he could do was breathe, and hold in all the sobs, and let the pain wash over him like rainfall.

 

 

 

For Sue Vincent’s WritePhoto

 

 

Swamp Dweller

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Photo: Patrick Smith on Unsplash

 

He claims crises are never his doing.

He says none of what’s broken

Can be.

Not the harm.

Not the scams.

Not the spread of corruption,

Or growing alarm.

It is all others’

Fault.

Everyone else

Is bad.

If there’s pain

It’s the doing of fools

Who complain

And fake hardships besides.

Obdurate,

He mocks all

Who point out

Lies he told.

To him every word

From his mouth

Is pure gold.

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Obdurate in 72 words

 

 

 

He’ll Do

 

The new hay-bringer was a handsome one. Calm posture. Wild mane. Warm eyes.

The others hung back as Bella stepped forward to inspect. Molly, heavy with foal, nickered a soft warning, and Bella swished her tail in understanding. Yes, she, too, was expecting, but she was not afraid.

She advanced to within a hoof-kick-space. He stayed put, unperturbed.

He carried no fear smell. No twitchy legs. No mouth yells.

Bella lowered her head some, and he held out his hand for a sniff. Sweat. Musk. Iron. Grass. Faint carrot smell.

She shook her mane, and he laughed and reached into an opening in his leg coverings to reveal an orange section of the vegetable. Offered it on an open palm.

Bella nosed it, lipped, chewed. Good.

She approved.

She tapped her hoof and felt the air shift behind her from tension to curiosity.

He’ll do.

Perhaps he even has apples.

 

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge