The Day She Rises

shnikt, shnikt

Metal strikes mineral in rhythmic space.

shnikt, shnikt

She is a lean shadow, sat alone. Silent tears shed blending into the briny tide that approach and recede her salt licked feet. Only saline tracks that frame her cheeks tell tale they existed.

Dawn chains to dusk, none saw her arrive, nor leave.

shnikt,

She has just been… there…

shnikt, shnikt,

Stone in one hand, blade in the other is no game or dream for her

shnikt,

We watch and wonder what on Earth caused this refrain

I do not weep at the world – I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife.

Words unspoken yet heard by all nonetheless

Not what they seem, the tears screen not her melancholy, but her rage

shnikt, shnikt

And all we know is: the day she rises will lead to the night someone falls

shnikt, shnikt


dVerse Poets Pub graphic

dVerse Poets Pub | Prosery: Finding Ms. Zora Neale Hurston

Today Lisa introduces the pub to one of my favorite writers, Zora Neale Hurston and challenges us to write a piece of prose that is no longer than 144 words, sans title, and must include the line “I do not weep at the world – I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife.” from Hurston’s “How Does it Feel to be Colored Me” in World Tomorrow (1928). This can be flash fiction, nonfiction, or creative nonfiction, but it must be prose!

The Sunday Whirl | Wordle 510

refrain, lead, shed, dream, frame, space, recede, seem, screen, game, lean, chain

MLMM Sunday Writing Prompt, July 18/21 – The Quiet One

The Final Bullet

“I summon you, the beasts of war!”

One soldier suddenly screamed into the darkening lazuline skies nearly obscured by smoke and flame surrounding them as they huddled in a found trench.

The tokens that had moved around maps in the plotting and paper rehearsal of their campaign in the sterility of the general’s compound, had not lived up to its gritty reality.  If 100 things could have gone wrong, it seemed that 90 of them had. Watson again pushed away the mental reminder that this mission would be his final bullets for a while; he would be on leave in a few days. Having been back-turned twice, this mission was one for the Fail column. Those thoughts did him no good now when the few of them left were simply trying to survive long enough to report this failure of a mission.

“Janssen! What the bloody hell are you doing? Shut it!” Another soldier, Corporal Murray, hissed.

With his rifle raised overhead to the sky in defiant punctuation, Lieutenant Janssen continued his rant.

“Come! Cast your shadows upon my flesh. You think me afraid? Come then! Come find a gallant feast of fear in which to dine and learn that Janssen is a poor man’s buffet indeed for I am not ear-marked to be such food stuffs!”

Captain Watson’s head spun from Janssen’s outcry, to Lieutenant Rupali,  a meter on his opposite side in a clear do you hear this? expression before they ducked from a spray of stone and debris from another blast close to where they were. Blasts that were getting closer and closer as the enemy closed in.

Captain Watson wished he were surprised. He had always felt there was something off with Janssen but had kept it to himself. The man was a decent soldier, if high strung. When Janssen, what they at the time had thought was jokingly, fancied himself a modern-day Shakespearean tragedy in the making and started to sprinkle Elizabethan speech into his words, Watson knew he was no longer the only one who had begun to worry as signs of that off-ness increased. It explained Janssen’s language as the mission and his mind started unraveling. 

They have been on the run for three days straight as they wove their way out of the gauntlet of enemy territory. At times there was no choice but to quickly fish through the belongings of the slain, picking up ammunition and whatever supplies from the fallen who no longer needed them. Leave no man behind, an abandoned concept in their desperation for survival. Watson felt the weight from the collected dog tags of those he could get to that he carried in his med pack.

He knew they were so close to being saved. Their last radio communique before it was shot out had them no more than a couple of kilometers from the rescue approaching on the other side.  The last thing they needed was attention drawn to themselves. It was clear Lieutenant Janssen had not got that message as another grenade blast went off far too close to them. Watson knew the next one would strike true. They had to abandon their position.

“Come you spilled seed! A worthiness for only the lead of my bullets to eat!”

There was no ambiguity about it, Janssen had gone mad; the screaming man rising to his feet now put them all at risk.

“Jesus Christ! He’s going to get us killed!” Rupali swung his rifle around, his intention clear.

It was Rupali’s outcry that made Janssen turn and lock eyes with his fellow lieutenant. Watson and Rupali knew then that any chance at communion with Janssen was gone a moment before he turned and started screaming at a run when he was brought down.

“No!” Watson yelled as he scrambled out of the trench, the doctor already swinging his med pack around for use.

Some part of him registered the increased firepower as his people began to engage the enemy to give him a chance. He ignored it as he made his way to Janssen.   

He dropped to his knees, his mind already in medic mode as he began to triage. It took a moment before it registered that he was too far from his patient. It was another moment before the agonizing pain that caused him to drop his med pack from the bullet that tore through him made itself known.

But Watson knew it was bad. Very bad.

He did not notice that their rescue had finally arrived; his thoughts as he slipped into unconsciousness: Please, God, let me live. Don’t let this be the final bullet.


The Sunday Whirl  | Wordle 509
Language, Eat, Fish, Flame, Feast, Saved, Risk, Unraveling, Spray, Shadow, Stone, Off

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie | Wordle #249
Gallant, Ear-Marked, Sterility, Fail, Stone, Plotting, Rehearsal, Punctuation, Ambiguity, 100, Back-Turned, Communion

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie |First Line Friday: July 16, 2021
“I summon you, the beasts of war!”

In Their Time

In their time there were so many faces
Some good fortunes, some catastrophes
It was almost premonition how one easily traces
Through their times of peace and tragedies

In their time there were so many places
Where they ran hard or walked silently
And sometimes a risk in losing the graces
For those breaking laws and compliancy

In their time there were so many cases
Created by those failing in human glory
But now all scanned and contained in spaces
For retired police officers and the stories


The Sunday Whirl logo

The Sunday Whirl | Wordle 501

Risk, Contain, Catastrophe, Silently, Places,
Premonition, Cases, Created, Scan, Peace,
Traces, Stories

Use at least ten of the words in a poem or short story.

In Memory of Birds Chirping

The boy liked the sound of the birds chirping in the garden. He looked up into the trees and raised a hand to shade his eyes against the dappled sunlight that partially blinded him through the verdant leaves. He can just make out one of the birds on a branch.

He smiled, the bird sounded happy, but how would he know? The boy knew the normal daily sounds of the pigeons and sparrows, but were they happy or sad sounds? His young mind felt it was a sign of happiness. but was not sure. Maybe when he was older and heard more he could tell.

He knew that would not happen. He had studying to do. He was roped into sitting in the garden listening to birds because his mother had insisted that he take a token break and rest his mind or not have dessert with dinner.

“I am five! I do not need to rest my mind. My mind is perfectly fine.” He had huffed at first, but now happily sat on the bench and listened to the nature around him.

He then remembered the loud panicked caw of a scared bird.

“Mum, remember last week when that crow somehow got its wing wrapped around the clothesline? We had to…” the boy turned to look at his mother. Only she was not there.

The boy gawked at the old man that sat next to him on the garden bench. His face was such that the boy knew the man was handsome when he was young and he had aged handsomely with it. The old man wore a very nice suit under his trench coat. His age spotted hands rested on an umbrella that looked vaguely familiar. He looked up at the birds in the trees as well. Sunlight glinted off the sparse silver strands on his head. The gentle smile on the old man’s face slowly faded as his head turned and a pair of warm brown eyes settled on him.

“Who are you?” the boy asked.

The warm brown eyes in front of him filled with concern. “My…?”

“My name is Mycroft. It is only two syllables. If you are privileged to know the first, please be so kind as to make you way to the last.” The boy said haughtily.

The old man had reached out to touch his hand, but the boy snatched it away from the stranger. “Who ARE you?”

The old man quickly looked across the way behind him and the boy followed the gaze. Two men and a woman sat at a different bench behind them. The woman stood, her kind eyes narrowed as she approached him, the two men rapidly followed her.

He tried to run but his body was so slow to move as though taped to the bench. The three quickly caught up and restrained him by the arms. The old man cringed as he apologized, tears had begun to mist his eyes.

When he felt the prick of the needle in his arm, he had a moment of clarity and remembered.

Middle age, brother mine. Comes to us all. He remembered saying to his brother once and now thinks:old age too.

“Sundowning…” Mycroft whispered to himself.

Mycroft knew this was not the first time. At nearly a century in age, he was still surprisingly strong and had once sprained a nurse’s wrist in his panic between minds. This time the staff got to him before he had become violent. It was happening more and more. The greatest mind of his generation and it was slowly being chopped away in dementia.

Mycroft reached out a hand as his eyes found the teary eyes of his husband.

“I understand Gregory. I love you.”

Greg gave him a wavering smile as their fingers touched over his umbrella. Mycroft heard the birds chirping as the sedative took him.

The boy liked the sound of the birds chirping in the garden.

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The Sunday WhirlWordle 441

wordle-441

Use the following 12 words in a short story or poem:

sign – token – mind – form – gawk – mist
across – tape – chopped – arm – cringe – rope

Half and Half

Cass was a nightmare in white silk and pearls. Well half a nightmare. There was nothing to do but be attentive to the child as she enjoyed herself. It was all her father’s fault. He fell asleep on the couch last night watching classic horror movies. Cass came down for water at a pivotal scene as the title character walked down a street slinging mayhem about and a new idea was borne.

Unbeknownst to us parents until the moment she came down the steps she had made a few changes to the costume. Half of the lovely white dress was runny with red food dye and corn syrup – thank you so much internet for telling my child how the original movie did it, by the way. Though the movie character did not wear pearls, Cass being Cass insisted on them for her remake. The tiara was split in two and half hung tangled in her strawberry blond hair. The pearls, tiara and her hair was also spayed with the gooey mixture down half her body. It limited where we went because I could not find enough trash bags to cover the car seats enough to drive to around other neighborhoods, but she deems it worth it – so okay.

I knew it was going to be far from a breeze to get all that goop wash off, but I have to admit she did a fantastic job of it all on her own.  Two mornings ago, she was all about the pretty princess: lovely white dress and a tiara and pearls.  Only half of that walked the misty streets now as we stepped around the tossed eggs and toilet paper draped tress of the tricksters while we go treating. My creative daughter the very pretty Cassie on one half of her body, the very terrifying Carrie from the movie on the other.

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Written for:

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie | First Line Friday: October 26th, 2018
We’re given the first line, the rest is up to us. This week’s opening line: Cass was a nightmare in white silk and pearls.

The Sunday Whirl | Wordle 375
Eggs, Breeze, Misty, Attentive, Child, Drive, Movies, Sling, Runny, Find, Corn, Spray
Use at least ten of the words in a poem, prose or story.

Anything Like This

I never wanted anything like this less

It was supposed to a game
Something slight, simple
I didn’t see the string

I never 

Imagined to be caught in your beam
Much too late I felt myself list
And cursed a blue streak

Wanted anything 

Like this moment oh so still
Yet I cannot deny the afterglow sheen
And how in my very thoughts you seam

Like this

Through my psyche to rattle
Through my heart to beat
Through my soul to fasten

And I never wanted anything like this more

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The Sunday Whirl – Wordle 351
Use at least ten of the following words in a story or poem/prose:
Game, Simple, String, Beam, List, Streak, Still, Sheen, Seam, Rattle, Beat, Fasten

I challenged myself to use the words as is, not changing tense and in the order given.

The Daily Post Slight
Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

Microwave

Shawn stood at the stove, fry pan in hand as warmed-up yet another of James’ impromptu dinners. The man had a gift for taking leftovers and whatever else he could find and conjure up deliciousness. It was the only way to get a decent meal in Shawn sometimes. He let work keep him up all manners of hours and a proper meal oft fell by the wayside in the process. James made sure he ate.

After three other roommates had come and gone in a two year span. James signed on. They gave each other a million reason to walk away from being roommates. Yet in a short few weeks of living together there had been a marked difference in the daily routine of the place. Holly claimed it was like the apartment had a cold draft that someone finally sealed and the place was warm again. Shawn knew the draft was him and the warmth was James. He was always the mar, the blemish, the thing wrong in the equation. Until James that is, who arrived with his own issues. His temper being the worst.

Normally Shawn would use the microwave, but he had conducted a food experiment that had not gone quite as expected. James understandably had refused to clean it this time as he had all the other times, but the man was a hard-wired germaphobe. Shawn would often just wait it out knowing James would cave in and do it. Still, every now and then the man would raise a brow and get a stubborn streak. And it would be like sand in his shoe  he couldn’t seem to shake out until it was resolved. This was three days later – that was a record. Shawn knew he really was going to have to do something about it. He couldn’t stand it if James employed the silent treatment again.

Over a year ago, the first and last time Shawn made a huge mess and didn’t clean, James absolutely did not speak to him. Being petty, after a week, Shawn had moved the sofa to block the front door, delaying him when he knew James was running late. Shawn sat at the desk on his, earphones on, acting engrossed on his laptop. He looked up just in time to see James eyes turned stormy as he glared at Shawn. He still said nothing as he lifted the couch, flipped it over where it landed on the side table smashing it and went on his way leaving the door wide open. Holly, their landlady heard the crash and came running upstairs, passing a furious James along the way. She walked up to him and smacked on the back of his head so hard he saw stars ordering him to fix it. He knew she did not mean the table. Shawn was not in the least surprised when the cost of the table was charged to his share of the rent. By then he had cleaned the apartment, apologized. He almost cried in relief when James very efficiently and justifiably proceeded to curse him out.

Somehow they made the worse seem better in each other. Now at nearly two years together it was so much improved. James made him do better. No James made him want to do better. Shawn knew James learned to better manage his temper from dealing with him. They balanced each other.

Shawn sighed looking back at the microwave with guilt.  He turned off the stove and got the cleaning supplies.

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Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie | Music Challenge #24: “Million Reasons” by Lady Gaga

The Sunday Whirl – Wordle #342
Mar, Draft, Stormy, Sand, Charge, Silence, Fry, Star, Wired, Manner, Gift, Guilt

 

Anamoly

He and his brother stepped up on the lower bar and leaned on the top, looking down on the scene. His piercing glacier eyes with a dark auburn brow arched watched the new haul being brought in.  While his enigmatic sibling had less of a care, other than that the beasts did not disturb his dealings, he was always intrigued by them. Especially the arrivals from a few days before. No, that was not accurate, he was intrigued especially in him.

The pens were always a cacophony of sound, but not from that one, he hardly vocalized. The other beasts were either snarling in the fury of their capture, or whining piteously as they licked their wounds from lessons in the folly of touching the wired netting. Dark haired, dark eyed and small in stature, he still thought to hold a certain menace. A thought proven accurate when the small beast had magically produced a hidden blade to slice the face of the huge blond beast that made the mistake of trying to dominate. The fight was efficient and over quick. It was going to have a permanent scar, which devalued the property, but ensured that he, and the huge blond he seemed to have made a partnership with since then, were left alone. It set him apart.

He saw how the others behaved around him. How they seemed to defer to him, gave him the choicest parts of their food, which he barely consumed other than an odd penchant for apples. If he was not the alpha of the pack, he was definitely not afraid to be the lone wolf. His mind seemed more focused, compared to most of the other beasts, his attention …sharp? Can such beasts have a sharp mind? He inwardly laughed at the folly of such a thought as he and his brother returned to the main building.

The beast was an anomaly. He did not like anomalies, they bred trouble.

Still…

His brother sat in the chair by the hearth, as always. Feet up on the trunk, his younger sibling sat with all arms crossed. He brought the hands of the uppers together before his face, as that multi-faceted verdigris gaze swept over him. One amused brow rose a moment later. He saw. He knew. He did not bother to acknowledge the protests as he got up and went to the intercom.

“Tranquilize the small dark one and bring him secured to my brother’s office. If the huge blond beast tries to protect him, he’s already damaged goods, put him down. And oh, you saw what happened to the last one who didn’t search properly – don’t make my brother repeat that censure. So, if you could be so kind as to check the small beast thoroughly this time?  We already see how resourceful this one is for a human.”

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The Sunday Whirl |Wordle 341
Haul, Mind, Snarling, Sharp, Arms, Hearth, Apart, Small, Saw, Scar, Bar, Trunk

Use at least ten of the words in a story or poem.

Leap

Last year was lost to rumors

Boils, bursting at seams

Last ditch efforts telling sweet nothings

In the middle of the night

Hope, my first step

To the mighty vine of this year’s truths

All I need do is leap

In the silver light

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The Sunday Whirl | Wordle 332

Mighty, Ditch, Silver, Tell, Vine, Light, Middle, Lost, Boil, Rumors, Nothings, Seams

Use at least ten in a short story of poem

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dVerse Poets | Quadrille # 47 Leap

The rules in Quadrille is simple:  write a poem, or short story in 44 words (excluding the title) with the word, LEAP.

For the Chaos of It

“What do you think you’re doing, young man?” Clotho sighed in annoyance as Chaos blocked the doorway. He was waiting his turn to draw on the Turbulence.

The Turbulence, a shifting, moving, swirling, oscillation that was ever twilight on a horizon that was neither day nor night, earth nor sky nor fire nor water. All of the holders gleaned some aspect of the raw energy that is the Turbulence for their respective offices. It taunted and consoled, evoked terror as well as assurance where one felt a sense of WAS and IS and WILL BE simultaneously for it was timeless as well. In a lesson learned the hard way – when Chaos first entered the Turbulence as Chaos he thought he had only been gone for a few minutes. Chronos, the only Office holder who can sense their normal earthly time there, had to come for him, for he had been gone  several hours. Long enough that each of the Gods felt the pull on their Lifeforce. For ill or good, it is a balance and non can survive without the others, for while immortal as they hold an Office, their lives still move through the Tapestry as one. When one of their lives has not moved they all feel the stagnation on their own lives after a time. Another few hours and all human lives would have felt the pull. It is said if the Tapestry is ever finished so would all existence as is known. None of the Gods were willing to test that theory.

Clotho stood holding a large distaff of bright glowing filaments. The raw energy that she will spin into the silken threads that feed into the Tapestry. She dealt with lives from on high, the giving, living and taking of them when it is time. It would supply her needs for some time.

In contrast, Chaos lofted a small orb of his own roiling mass of dark energy. In the center was an avatar of earth, dark spots where his influence reigned. Some appeared as mere pinpricks, others as craters as though dirty, rotted. Where the energy she pulled was bright and shining, his looked of dark and ominous. He dealt with lives from below, throwing the proverbial wrench in the gears of lives. The necessary chaos that appears in all lives from time to time in order to appreciate the calm.

Chaos proved to be unusually well suited to his Office.  He and Fate spent their time in constant moves and counter-moves of the mortal lives in balance between them. For the most part the good maintains the upper hand as she often has the other officers to help her. Still, there are times he gets the upper hand, and lives up to the title of Chaos with relish. That there is still fighting in Afghanistan was as much Chaos’ influence of insurgent powers-that-be as it was War’s.

Chaos knew Clotho tried to time her visits to avoid meeting up with him, but on occasion, he can get their paths to cross. He leaned at the opening of the Access, the only way in or out of the Turbulence. His dark eyes were alight with madness, but they missed little.

She’s in a nostalgic mood for her dancer days. Haven’t seen her wear that pretty little number in a while.

“And where do you think you’re going, old lady?” An amused smirk was his answer as his dark eyes raked over her.  It tickled him to no end when he met up with Fate as Clotho. Though she looked a good ten years his junior physically, she was much older mentally and thus continually addressed him in her older identities.

“Seriously Clotho, you act like I’m the enemy. Every good old fashioned fairy-tale needs a villain, yes? I’m just doing my job.” His voice slid into its natural lilt, along with a little sing-song as he took one step across the opening.

“Need you enjoy it so much?” she huffed.

While Lachesis and Atropos were immune to his charms, pay him little mind; Clotho could sometimes fall prey. It was risky, but he wanted it one be one of those times. Why? Well because he’s Chaos, why not?

He stepped back just enough so that they both straddled the opening. One foot in their reality, the other in the Turbulence.  No one knew why, but other than Chronos, the only Officer whose power works within its confines, no two office holders can be in the Turbulence simultaneously. Stripped of the powers of their office they are mortal for the time they are within the Turbulence. However, no office holder can use their power through the door, bridging the threshold between the two states as they were brought pain to both, but neither were willing to concede to the other.

Perfect. Stay right there.

“Did you not enjoy your job, then? Don’t you sometimes miss feeling that thrill of an audience captivated by your raw charm?” He leaned in a little, ran a hand over along the side in the Turbulence hovering just over the diaphanous material of her dress at her shoulder and down her bare arm, not quite touching her body, but he knew she felt the heat, by the quick change of her breath. They each accepted the demands of their office graciously, but there were certain things they all missed from their mortal lives. “You danced so well. Should I not take pride in what I do? Especially when we all know I my job so well.”

“Too well sometimes. That’s why it often falls into mine to fix it.” Clotho eyes flashed, he knew what that meant.

Chaos rolled his head, the cavitation of his neck sounded loud in the otherwise quiet space. He knew she did not like the sound and smirked when Lachesis flinched as she morphed into place, holding the distaff as Clotho had. She brushed past him and placed both feet solidly in their time. The relief from the sharp pain of straddling the entryway evident as Lachesis  took a deep solidifying breath. Her eyes narrowed. “What are you up to, Chaos?”

What a stupid question. Boring!

“What am I up to? EVERYTHING!” His face all innocence until he screamed the last word. Then the innocent expression face transformed into a primeval malevolence. His voice echoed in the arch of the Access. Lachesis eyes flashed.

Dammit, not her!

“Do NOT test me young man!” Atropos morphed into place with brandished shears and a slate thread in her hand at the ready even as she still held the distaff, the threat clear.

Chaos hissed in fury as he felt the pull of his own thread in her hand as he was still half in their reality. He fully back-stepped into the Turbulence where she could not touch him. Having made her point, she gave a nod of her head then walked away. He watched her retreating back and smiled darkly at what he saw.

Go ahead, old gal – mission accomplished, I got what I wanted.

She will not notice it until it’s too late to do anything about it.

He just had to wait now.

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The Sunday Whirl | Wordle 325
clear, taunting, body, test, fury, war, mission, lesson, dirt, slide, pay, disbelief