Obelisk – #Writephoto

The horror on my mother’s face earned her a compromise, and I hauled my keepsakes into her attic. The rest I sold or trashed—all my belongings, from my gabled home and rusted car to my laptop and half-squeezed tube of toothpaste. Then I emptied my bank account and donated every red cent to the cause. I wouldn’t need it where I headed, and it would help spread the word of salvation among those left behind.

We gathered by the obelisk, thousands of us, believers young and old, some in homemade robes but most in jeans and rolled up sleeves. Anticipation crackled in the air and prickled the nerves. The sun dipped toward the burnished sea and the sky turned to brass. The moment was nigh.

Some fidgeted and grasped at fleeting minutes with fretful yearning. Others reconsidered the wisdom of their choices, whimpered their regrets, and lobbed breathless pleas to the ether with white-knuckled fingers, but not I. My veins pulsed with intrepid hope, dreams of pristine worlds, a homecoming with my ancestors, a vibrant vision of a future among the stars.

The sea shaved slices from the sun and the horizon deepened to green. The moment passed and our ship never came. I watched faith peel from the devout like onion skin, tearful and pungent, the betrayal palatable and mutating faces with grief, anger, and despair. A few backpedaled with delicate reasoning; others scratched for ways to undo what they’d done. Most vowed vengeance. The buses had departed hours ago, and as twilight faded, the horde of disillusioned started the long walk to town.

My back to the obelisk, I waited as night drew up its coverlet, not the only one to remain on the rocky point but one of few. The sea lapped on the shore to the rhythm of my breath, and the stars winked on. The prophet had promised us a life of spirit and relieved us of our worldly possessions for the start of our journey. There never was a ship, intergalactic or otherwise; I knew that now. But he hadn’t betrayed me. He’d done as he promised—freed me of the heavy trappings that weighted my life, and set me on an altered path. I faced a new future. Like it or not, I was reborn.

**

Thanks to Sue Vincent for her Thursday #Writephoto prompt. Visit her site to see other creative entries.

Bridge #writephoto

beneath-the-bridge

I wasn’t supposed to talk to strangers, which is why I never told my mum about the man below the bridge. She wouldn’t have tolerated him with his frayed coat and dirty fingers. His eyes had a little shine in them, even in the shadows, as if he’d left a light on inside his head.

After my chores, I’d ask mum for jam sandwiches, biscuits, and a sliced apple for a tea party with my friend under the bridge. She thought the old fellow was a fairy child, flitting in my imagination like a moth, and she liked me out from under her feet.

My doll, Miss Penny, and I would tote our basket down the hill and tiptoe across the stepping-stones. My friend waited in our castle’s cool darkness while I propped Miss Penny up against the wall and brewed pretend tea. We’d share our feast and sip from invisible cups as proper as the queen. Miss Penny always smiled, enjoying the party as much as we. Then he’d tell us stories of his travels to India and Africa, of riding elephants, and diving for pearls, and climbing mountains in the snow. One day, Miss Penny decided to stay in the castle under the bridge to keep my friend company.

Then, my mum packed us up, and we moved to America.

That was forty years ago.

My husband is golfing with colleagues, and I have a precious morning to wander through the old haunts of my tender years. I rent a car for a drive into the country. The old home is still there, smaller and empty. The roof sags and ivy consumes the sunny walls. But it isn’t the home I’ve come to visit. I tote my basket, my jam sandwich, biscuits, and apple down the hillside and tiptoe across the stones through the stream.

I know my friend isn’t there, but the eight-year-old child inside me hopes anyway. I hear his stories whisper from the castle beneath the bridge, in the brook and trees, in summer’s heated air, and I find his bones, Miss Penny still smiling in his arms.

**

Thanks once again to Sue Vincent for her wonderful Thursday photo prompt. Visit her at The Daily Echo and join the fun.

The Swan #writephoto

sue-vincent-prompt

The reaper perches on her bedpost, obsidian feathers secreted in the ebony of night. Below him, the woman lies supine, one leg extended, toes pointed. Her thin arms arch upward in a dream, supple as wings in spite of the brittleness of her bones. He understands her grace, the persistence of her soul’s dance.

Moderato e maestoso. Her lips part as Tchaikovsky swells in her head. The scène finale. The reaper cranes forward, immersed in the sublime pathos of the song. She dips her chin in gratitude, elegant white feathers and fingers cupping her heart. The reaper weeps and splays his black wings. Her dream ripples across the lake and she glides into the golden light, forever a swan.

**

Thanks to Sue Vincent of the Daily Echo for another mesmerizing #writephoto Thursday prompt.

Violet Sky #writephoto

Sue Vincent #writephoto

Sue Vincent #writephoto

Violet Sky

We gathered at the border of the road, called out of our misery by one of the children. The dawn bled, a bruised and bloody wound. How fitting for the sixth extinction.

Yet, it was a dawning.

I had thought, long before the die-off, that we might poison the planet and arise one morning in disbelief that we couldn’t survive on an obliterated world. Or perhaps disease would usher mankind to the pyres, our super-viruses ravaging our weak and chemical-laden bodies. Of course, mutual annihilation was a possibility, the promise of our youth and sum of our talent and treasure dedicated to war. The end always made for entertaining speculation.

Who would have believed the culprit was time, all spiraling down with the slow ticking of the clock, the December of the human race.

I peered at the upturned faces of our isolated band as the heavens thrust spears of light through the clouds’ closing gash. My companions’ bodies appeared to glow in the rare sunlight, their radiant souls shining through, reclaiming lost beauty. In their smiles, I witnessed the dawning of hope and hadn’t the heart to tell them we were ghosts.

**

Thanks to Sue Vincent of The Daily Echo for another enticing photo prompt. She tosses these out to us on Thursdays and reblogs our submissions. It’s great fun. Head over and give it a try!

I am Worldmaker

Fantasy-fantasy-8931763-1440-900

I am Worldmaker. You know naught of me, yet behold me in the very fibers of the air, in the devices of my creation. My realm spans the chaos of stars, beyond time expanding, worlds shaped and dying. I am elemental, secretive, the spark that sets mystery in motion, the wielder of birth and destruction. Some name me God, but possess not a wisp of understanding. I am vaster than the reaches of imagination. Can you conceive, truly, of eternity?

My fingers roll as I breathe being into this gaseous inferno. I fling my fireball to the cold reaches of the void to cool and crack, to change the very complexion of space. There is a pattern in anarchy, a sublime collection of chance that in each moment transforms existence. Do you understand? That you are a miracle? Wondrous and infinitesimal, that you matter not at all?

Am I cruel, heartless? Do you find in my tale the fear of annihilation? Or in the infinite act of creation, am I the mother of life, an embodiment of love? Do I care for your ephemeral souls? I am none of your human imaginings. I am.

I am.

Curious.

I have contemplated myself in your corporeal image. You, the mere whimsy of happenstance. What is it that compels me to peer through the veil of stars to your blue orb with its wind-blown seas? You are nothing. In a sweep of my hand, I might hurl your planet into extinction, and in the dance of time, none would know or care. What is it that draws my gaze your way?

Hidden among you there is one who knows me, who has the power to read the runes burned in my countenance. He is the wyrd, Worldshifter, wandering in self-accepted ignorance while possessed unwittingly of truth. For to live without knowing is the doorway to wisdom.

He is a man grown now, rummaging through the hours you call time, hurrying over the surface of your mechanical planet, wasting breath and questioning why. I wonder at his constant seeking and inquisitiveness, his desire to part the veil and step into the mystery, even at the risk of his fleeting life. He might be foolish, yet I think he is, in fact, oddly courageous.

My latest world spins free with a turn of my wrist. It soars, whirling into other planets, colliding in a blaze of agonized destruction. In its debris new worlds will birth, new life that would not have breathed if not for death.

My gaze returns to him.

I gather stardust unto myself, shaping my vision of being into solid form as I plummet downward. The heat of your atmosphere burns me, peels away my identity in black cinders and powdery ash. Fear flares like a brand through white bones and scarlet blood. A shooting star, I plunge into your cool, gray sea.

Forgetting who I am.

***

Note: So who is this mysterious World-Shifter she’s so intrigued by? Click here for the companion piece written by Nick (Babbitman). I love the direction he took!