World War IV

A piece of brick caught my eye as I hunkered down in the ruins of the ancient capital.

“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” -Albert Einstein

I snorted as I picked up my bow and nocked an arrow. I didn’t know who this Einstein guy was, but he hadn’t been far off.

I froze as an arrow whizzed by, narrowly missing my ear. The world was a lot smaller now, but that didn’t mean we wouldn’t fight to the death to save what was left.

(c) 2017. All rights reserved.

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Maybe

The bell clanged long and loud and low outside her window. Day was done, and with it, her toil. She sat back and stretched, shaking the cramps from her fingers before kneading the knots from her neck and shoulders. The bell’s echo receded into the distance, replaced by the sound of jingling keys, of rusty hinges screeching in protest.

He wasn’t supposed to come till tomorrow. She was supposed to have more time. Maybe if she didn’t turn around, if she refused to acknowledge him, maybe he would leave her. Maybe he would come back tomorrow, like he’d promised.

She wasn’t ready to die. No matter what she’d said.

(c) 2017. All rights reserved.

The Devil Dogs

It was a dry snow; I could tell by the way it swirled in the wind. I shivered.

Old Man Winter wasn’t about to go quietly into the night. Oh, no. He raged outside me window against the coming of the light, huffing and puffing with all of his might. We’d have another foot by morning, or I wasn’t Effie McCray.

At least it would move easily, being so dry. Thank goodness it weren’t packing snow.

Packing snow was heavy, wet stuff, perfect for felling timbers and building snowmen. But we didn’t have any old trees, or even any young ones, to worry about anymore, nor any young’uns itchin’ to build a snowman. The ice storms had already taken care of ’em.

They’d taken care of a lotta things.

I rolled over in bed so’s I faced away from the window. The fire was out in the hearth, and I was out of logs. Oh sure, there were plenty out in the woodshed, but I weren’t about to fetch more. Not after dark, no siree. My Peter had always kept…

One Foggy Night

The fog wove in and out of the trees, making the dark of night seem even darker. The light from my high beams disappeared into the void, swallowed whole by the night. I’d driven this road every night for as long as I could remember, yet tonight it felt new. Strange. Ominous.

I heard it as I rounded the curve, a kettle’s high, whining song, only much, much louder. Home was just within view, and just out of reach. And then, engulfed by a blinding fireball, it was gone.

I sat for a moment, watching the blaze. And then I backed up, turned around, drove into the night till the flames were no more than a memory. The fog wrapped itself around my car as I drove, and I let it envelop me like a warm blanket.

(c) 2017. All rights reserved.

The Earworm’s Tune

She could feel it burrowing inside her; the earworm was nothing if not persistent, and it had lodged itself firmly within her brain before cranking up the volume to eleven. Pretty soon, the bright and brassy sound of a new age jazz tune was the only thing she could hear; its rhythm pulsed through her, and she couldn’t stop her toes from tapping along in time. Though she tried – oh, how she tried – to stifle the urge, the day finally came when she could no longer keep from singing; she threw herself up onto the stage and belted out the earworm’s tune, and the thunderous applause made the months of torture worth every minute.

(c) 2017. All rights reserved.

Bones

She crouched over his body on the floor. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. It was supposed to be happily ever after. He’d sold her a fairy tale, a life she’d barely been able to imagine.

And now he was dead.

They had had only a month together, hardly enough time in which to give her the moon and the stars like he’d promised. He’d sold her a fairy tale, a dream he could not make true.

And now he was dead.

The wind carried her anguish to the hills, swirled her bitter tears out to sea. The trees bent beneath her wails, snapping and cracking like his bones, creaking and groaning like the bones of her house.

When the freak storm finally passed, her neighbors found her frozen in the rubble, still crouched over his body, and thought how sweet it was that they had perished together.

(c) 2017. All rights reserved.

The Moon In Her Eyes

The night was dark and the moon was high as the brave young man strode calmly by and promised to pluck the moon from the sky for the girl he loved to wear in her eyes. He aimed with his arrow, and shot true and high, encircling the moon with a great length of twine, but it wasn’t enough to capture the prize. For the moon it continued to climb through the sky, and as it did it pulled on the twine, and ever so slowly did the brave young man rise till he found himself alone in the sky with the moon and his arrow and a great length of twine, and no way to get back to the girl that he loved with the moon in her eyes. For ever and always he’ll continue to try to capture the moon to hang in the eyes of the girl that he loved on that cold, dark night, and he’ll never forget the way that she cried when he disappeared into the great black sky to fetch her the moon to wear in her eyes. He’ll never forget the way that she died with the moon shining brightly in her dark brown eyes.

(c) 2017. All rights reserved.

Lake of Fog

It was rainy and dreary here on Monday, then foggy as anything yesterday morning. Nothing inspires me quite the way fog and rain do, especially at this time of year. Add to that “Gretchen am Spinnrade,” which has been getting a lot of play on my iPod, and I quickly found myself in Inspiration City. This piece has been brewing for a couple of days, and I hope you like it. 🙂

The steady beat of the rain on the glass echoed the steady beat of her tears on the floor. The fog on the lake mirrored the fog in her soul, and she wore it the way she’d have worn a comfy old coat. If she could just find him, she could make him see. If she could just find him, then she’d be free.

But the fog hid more than her drooping frame, and the rain did wash freedom’s sun away. She searched through the windows, tore open the door, but the fog hid her love forevermore. She climbed up the mountain, looked high and low, but the fog hid everything in the valley below.

Then a flash caught her eye and without hesitation, she stepped into the sky. She dove toward the lake where he’d rested his head on a pillow of stone, with sand for a bed. But a trick of the light was all it had been, and the freezing cold water welcomed her in. The bitter blue waves stole every breath; with tears in her eyes, she at last greeted Death.

The steady beat of the rain on the glass echoed the steady beat of her tears on the floor. The fog on the lake mirrored the fog in her soul; she wore it the way she’d have worn a comfy old coat. If she could just find him, she could make him see. But she never could find him; she’ll never be free.

(c) 2017. All rights reserved.

Photo Friday

I meant to post this yesterday as a Throwback Thursday post…but I forgot.

Oops.

Oh, well! My forgetfulness worked out this time, because now I’m not scrambling for ideas on what to post today! And Photo Friday can make a brief return!

See? It’s all good! 😀

Wow, that’s phrase I haven’t used since the ’90s…

Speaking of that glorious decade of my misspent youth, today’s photo gallery features a collaborative story a friend and I wrote for Spanish class once upon a time. She did the drawing, I did the writing, and we both had a ton of fun in the process. I was actually thinking about this story (and a couple of others) a couple weeks ago as I sat at school conferences. Miss Tadpole now has my high school Spanish teacher, who told her that I used to write stories in Spanish.

Ah, the good ol’ days, when I was slightly more confident in my language skills… 😀

I ran across this the other night as I was digging through a scrapbook and praying I could find my original ACT scores. They never turned up, but this gem did, along with some other hilarious reminders of my high school days (YM covers and Tiger Beat centerfolds and “Got milk?” ads, oh my!).

My photo skills were somewhat lacking with these, so I captioned each lovely character sketch with the story.

Happy Friday, folks!

(c) 2016. All rights reserved.