A Prayer

“Yes, you may play.” She watched her daughter run off. “But be careful, okay?” She called the words to ears that would hear, but could not yet truly comprehend. So she spoke them like a blessing. A prayer.

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Lone

She saw it in her dreams. Only the stars provided life to the shadows that clung to its form. It was staring out over the lands like a king. But no howl would it answer. Instead it lowered its ears and slinked away as if chastised.

How she wished it would revert, back to its proud stance, beautiful even in its solitude. But it withdrew in exile, never to join in the calls of the others.

She longed to feel its fur bristle beneath her fingers. See its eyes sharpen upon her, perhaps seeing her as prey, or perhaps, though she knew it to be impossible, seeing her as a familiar presence.

Over forests she reached, but it remained just beyond her fingertips, no matter how hard she strained.

And she would wake, tears in her eyes, as it turned from her and faded away. Just a dream, tangible only in her heart.

—-

Very loosely based on a dream I had.

Your Kind of Love

You embrace, as if the word has never done you harm. Your heart remains open even when faced with iron walls.

Your warmth seeps from you to the ungrateful. You shiver, and they turn away, and you smile in understanding.

It is your kind of love that keeps the world spinning.

—-

Reflections on some of the amazing women in my family.

Morning Commute

It’s a slow dispersal, like raindrops down a window pane. Pausing, as if in thought. Joining and branching, then disappearing.

Scattered, like a rain that grows with sleepy reluctance.

Then a rush, the storm that finally thunders its presence. Winds and howls that stop you in your tracks, and clouds that impede your journey.

Every morning, a yawning procession.

—-

Morning thoughts on the bus ride to work. 

The Translator

   “Ah, Sir, I’m afraid-” he paused and frowned as he glanced beside him. “What? No, I can’t say that, it’s rude!” He crossed his arms as the hooded man next to him spoke harshly. “I know you’re paying me to get the job done. I will, if you let me do it. And that threat stopped working ages ago.”

   He shook his head and glanced ahead of him. “I’m sorry about that,” he rubbed the back of his head. “My boss is having a rough day. Oh, yes, I’m sure you are, too!” He raised his hand as angry gestures were thrown his way. “In fact, that’s why we’re here. Ah, you see, the reason you’re so unhappy is because you’re not where you know you ought to be. 

   “Oh, no, no, it’s not your fault. You haven’t done anything wrong, don’t worry!” He smiled. “It’s our job – “ he winced at the jab to his side. “It’s his job to find those like you who have lost their way. I’m just here to translate!” He frowned and leaned forward. “Pardon me?”

   There was a grumbling breeze. 

   “Oh, I’m afraid they’re long gone, now. Nothing left here, as you can see,” he swept his arms around at the ruins around them. “In fact, you’ll have a much higher chance of finding them if you come with us.” He winced again. “If you go with him.”

   The figure beside him offered his hand.

   There was a pause. Then slowly a silver hand, translucent, placed itself into the bony grasp. It was caught and pulled, and they faded from view.

   He sighed, rolling his eyes. “Send me my usual.” He called out. “Honestly,” he muttered,  “sometimes I wonder if it’s worth it.” He shoved his hands into his pockets and made his way from the ruins. The rumours would slowly fade, and soon this house would be no more than a distant memory, eventually consumed by the forest. 

   He stopped and frowned. “Already?” He grumbled. His eyes glinted silver in the starlight, and he disappeared into the woods. “And here I thought I’d get a night off.” His words chased his image into the darkness.

—-

I thought my summer schedule would be lighter, but it turns out I’m working even more. Which is a good thing! But I’ve been neglecting my blog. Apologies!

The Hiker

She is light on her feet. Lithe, with short, white blonde hair. She floats, rather than hikes, with steps like a river’s dance over the dirt and rocks.

She wishes me a good morning, and I reply with a smile. As she passes, I notice a shopping bag dangling from her backpack. Perhaps, I think, she would go grocery shopping after hiking. But at her pace, she would finish exercising long before the stores open. And besides, why have it hanging when she could roll it up and place it in her bag?

Just ahead of me, she jerks to the side, a frown creasing her brow. “Trash,” she mutters. I can hear the sneer in her words. “Pisses me off.” She bends down and picks up an empty Gatorade bottle, abandoned by either an uncaring tourist, or inconsiderate local.

She places it in the shopping bag and continues on. I stare after her, a smile testing the edges of my lips. The morning sun flares wings from her back.

——

I often hike early in the mornings in order to avoid the tourist traffic. The regular morning crew is awesome, and I’m starting to recognize faces. They’re all friendly and dedicated, and definitely admirable.

Reflection

He looked up and saw a man staring back. He smiled a weary smile, and it was returned, full of understanding.

They turned, each choosing a chair. Together they faced the setting sun, so very alone.

—-

I saw a man but I thought there were two. He sat with only his reflection for company. Was he lonely? I wondered as I, myself, sat alone and stared out the window.

Seeing

“Oh, I’m sorry, sir!” She bent down and retrieved his glasses. She inspected them as she stood up, her breath misting gently across the clear surface. She immediately felt tired. “They’re not broken or scratched,” she constructed a relieved smile.

He barely glanced at her as he took them back, but she was not surprised. She knew that dismissive look. She had seen it plenty of times before. Because her face was too gaunt to be considered pretty. Her hair was thin and greying despite her age. Her eyes no longer held the life she had once felt so strongly.

She watched as he walked away, still talking on his phone, his white shirt crisp and bright, his leather shoes clicking importantly with every step.

“Did you do it?”

“I always do,” she replied without turning to look at the man who appeared at her side. She stumbled slightly as he wrapped an arm around her shoulders and pulled her to his side.

“Good girl,” he kissed the top of her head. His lips were cold.

She remained still, used to his treatment.

“Let’s go,” he pulled her to his car.

She opened the door and sat down, immediately rolling the window down as she stared outside. She ignored his irritated glance.

The apartment building that they approached loomed with leering glass panels. She shivered despite the summer heat.

She did not bother rolling up the window as she exited the car. Her arms remained folded as they rode the elevator to the top floor.

The door recognized his fingerprint and allowed them into his apartment. And it was his apartment, not theirs. For he owned everything that she had.

Sharp edges and walls of glass glared as they entered. He pushed her towards the office, and she sat facing his desk. She picked up the notepad and pen. He sat in his chair and watched her, his eyes greedy.

Knowing better than to delay, she closed her eyes, and began to see. A screen flashed, a name, numbers. Her hand moved, a steady stream of red across the page.

She opened her eyes with a shudder as her hand trailed from the page. The pen dropped to the table and her hand fell to her lap. The world spun and she felt exhaustion creep in sluggish waves.

Her eyes drooped. She saw him take the pad, his smile cold, his mind already calculating. Soon, she knew, he would be millions richer, and a man would wake to find his accounts empty.

“Good work,” he praised.

She felt nauseated as she stared at his handsome face. At the lies behind his smile, behind his every word. The lies she had so foolishly trusted. The smile that had drunk in her deepest secret, one she had been so glad to finally share. The face that had been honest until it warped and its cruelty was revealed.

By then it was too late, the bars had fallen, and she knew that she would regret it for as long as she lived. Her only relief, she sighed as sleep lowered her eyes, was that it would not be too much longer. Her life drained as his greed grew and one day soon, she knew, she would be free.

Another in my series of Breath themed stories.

In no order:

Steam

Lunacy

Canvas

Whisper sweet words upon your blank canvas. Fill it with the colours of your thoughts.

Speak with broad strokes of life, sharp, angular, with sweet trailing ends that flutter towards the edge.

Mist a perfume of melodies, gold and silver, to harmonize in twining waves, origins and eternity.

Place it on your wall, display it for others to see, share the warmth of life that emanates from the core of your heart.

—-

Processes, purposes, and all the canvases we have created.

Potential

We met twice in that moment.

Once as our eyes registered. Twice as our souls resonated in waves that we could not, at the time, comprehend.

It was only as we walked away, lonely souls forever lost in the crowds, that we realized what we had missed.

Do you sometimes wonder what would have happened if you had stopped to say hi?

Lunacy

“The moon that interesting?”

“It’s full tonight. Must be some werewolves out there.”

“Very funny.”

“What, Josh, you’re not scared of them, are you?” She finally turned to glance at him.

“They’re not even real.”

“Says you,” she sniffed.

He sat beside her and craned his neck. “It’s nice… But you look lovesick, the way you’re staring. Should I be jealous?”

“Maybe,” she grinned, her eyes flicking in his direction. The moonlight made his skin glow. “I mean, it’s gorgeous, it’s so bright, and – well, tonight, it’s pretty damn big.”

“It’s only bright because of the sun. And it’s not big every night.”

She shrugged, scowling as thin clouds momentarily obscured her view. “It’s just hidden most of the time. Doesn’t mean it’s not there.”

“You’ve been staring at it for hours now. Want to go grab food? I’m starved.” He put his arm around her, but she didn’t lean in to him as she normally did. “Melanie?”

Her head jerked and she turned to him, blinking. “I’m sorry, what was that?”

“Never mind. I’m gonna defrost a pizza.”

Melanie opened the window and inhaled the moon’s white breath.

She settled on the couch, her head nestled against a small mound of pillows. The moon was her blanket as she curled her legs up to her chest. It brushed its lullaby through her hair.

She felt her muscles relax, one by one, and a small smile curved her lips. Her breath misted, silver, in front of her.

“Want a slice?” Josh poked his head into the room as he read the directions on the back of the box. “Melanie?” He looked up when there was no response. She was still staring outside. He sighed. “Mel,” he walked up and shook her. She was warm, her pulse soothing, and her eyes vacant as the moon.

—-

I’ve been fascinated with the idea of breath. First with Steam, and now with this one. And I have more lined up. They are not connected, but rather variants on a theme. I hope you enjoyed it!

Choice

The words freeze throat as you speak. Tears gather at the pain. But you force them out and hope they will take with them the torment you feel.

Words gather, and your stomach clenches around them. Tries. It tries to contain them. To keep the darkness from being released. From corrupting the life it touches once released into the air.

But neither do you want them inside you, festering, rotting you from within.

You scream, torn, agonized, the decision waiting with a smile as cruel as the words you have formed.

—-

Being sick has completely thrown me off course. I missed my usual Wednesday post, and I’ve barely been active the past few days. I apologize if I was late in replying to your messages. And if I missed it completely, I’m deeply sorry! I do my best to reply to each and every one of your comments! I appreciate the time you took to share your words!