His Shadow

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Photo: Andy Falconer on Unsplash

 

They want to add more activity to his day. More interests. Better engagements. A hobby. A new skill.

They don’t understand.

He is fine during the days. It is the night that haunts him. Not the dark, but the solitude. The walls closing. The suffocating silence where his breath fills all the space till there is no air left. No room for words.

Then there’s the fatigue and how it erodes all his resistance. Lets the blackness in.

They offered medicine. Said it will help him fall asleep and stay asleep.

It did.

And it made it worse.

Now his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream and he cannot find the door to waking.

He feels mummified. Lost in the abyss of thoughts and memory.

The bombs. The mines. The child.

He couldn’t save him.

Guilt swallows all.

How could there be a dawn?

 

 

 

Note: Dedicated to all whose deepest wounds are unseen. May you find your dawn.

For the dVerse prosery challenge: maya angelou

The quote prompt: “his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream” from “Caged Bird” by Maya Angelou

 

According To Plan

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Photo: Jon Sailer on Unsplash

 

So far all went according to plan.

Part serendipity, part preparation, part desperation. Sheer stubborn, too. She needed all of it.

She slunk around the building, her heartbeat almost drowning out the hum of voices reverberating in the air. She used to find the monotone of prayers soothing. Now it was the buzz of wasps.

Thomas had promised to keep any from straying. Promises were at most hopes in the Commune, but indeed the path seemed clear. Where normally there would be at least one man leaning against the door in fake calm that nonetheless effectively barred the exit, there was naught but empty space. The guards imbibed.

She quickened her pace. She’d have to time it perfectly. The once-daily pass-by train was her only chance at freedom. The rails shook. No one left and no on came on the bare platform. She leaped.

 

 

Prosery prompt quote: “No one left and no one came on the bare platform.” Edward Thomas

For the dVerse Prosery challenge: Edward Thomas

 

 

Flurries On The Wind

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Photo: Julian Berengar Sölter on Unsplash

 

She twisted the frayed bit of tissue between her fingers. Tightening and unfurling, tightening and unfurling. Miniature white dots fleeted down onto her black-slacked knees like flurries on the wind.

He shook his head to clear it from the mesmerizing effect of the movement and its impact.

“Say more,” he prompted, hoping his voice would break the trance and end her silence.

She shrugged. Flurries turned a momentary snowstorm and she shuddered, brushed the flecks of tissue off her lap and raised her eyes to someplace between her counselor’s brow and the wall.

“I don’t know why I was surprised every time love started or ended,” she whispered.

He nodded his encouragement. This was more than she’d said in the last two sessions put together.

“I should have known,” her voice turned bitter, “that none of it would last. That he would leave. Again.”

 

 

For the dVerse prosery challenge: surprised or not

Quote used: “I don’t know why I was surprised every time love started or ended.” (Jane Hirshfield’s poem, “I wanted to be surprised.” You can read the full poem here.)

 

For Eternity

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Photo: Freddy Castro on Unsplash

 

He visited her grave every year on the day they’d met. Every year on the day he’d proposed. Every year on the day they’d gotten married. Every year on the day she’d passed on and left him bereft of the best part of himself.

Sometimes if he was alone in the cemetery, he’d stretch on the ground near her headstone and mouth the words she’d left him in her note. She’d given him the sealed envelope shortly after she was diagnosed. Made him promise not to open it. Until. He knew them all by heart.

The Rock cries out to us today,” she wrote. “You may stand upon me, But do not hide your face. You are and always have been my core. My spirit will no longer be bound to this body, but our souls will continue traveling together. For eternity and beyond.”

 

 

(Note: Italics = prompt quote by Maya Angelou)

For the dVerse Prosery challenge

 

 

No Time

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Photo: Ofir Asif

 

She ran into the camp,

Braids streaming behind like ribbons

In wind,

Determined to be

Unbound

For a time.

The women raised their heads,

Weary from tending to

Crops and overtired babies.

This time of year was plentiful in many things but

Not in time.

“What is it, child,” her elder asked,

The rhythm of rocking the cradles of milk

And infant

Adding a lilt to her aged voice,

Raspy from smoky fires and chaff

Of time.

“Help,” the young one breathed,

And stalled,

Needy of air and flooded by sudden doubt.

“Speak up, child,” her mother snapped,

Tight with worry for a girl-child

Chased home,

And the shadows

of another time.

The camp stilled.

A baby woke in cry.

“Come help,” the lass repeated, indignant,

No longer shy.

“The creek rises and a cow is screaming

Across the arroyo.

We have no time!”

 

 

 

For the dVerse prosery challenge