A Challenge from the Sky

The only time you ever jog is when the sky starts beating its fists against the pavement and then, inevitably, your face. The harsh smack of each drop against your skin is soothing, meditative, barely rhythmic. It beats to the pounding of your feet, it mimicks your heart. It’s almost as effective as a handy waterfall.

You’re soaked the minute you step outside. Your clothes cling to your body in dissent, and only concede in the safety and warmth of your room.

Your hair is distressed, drenched, limp. It nudges your eye, but you dismiss its complaint with a flick of your head. Droplets charge the rain ahead of you, but are soon overwhelmed and beaten down. You hope that you don’t succumb to the same fate.

There’s a burning sensation, caused by your harsh, desperate attempts to breathe. Sometimes a sympathetic droplet will land in your mouth, a willing sacrifice to soothe the anger of your throat. Your body is starting to show its resentment towards your choices.

Your legs are next to feel the flames of effort and exertion. They throb and groan in disapproval. They gnaw on your knees and hammer at your ankles. But you don’t listen because you know that they have always had weak judgement of what was good and what was not. Sometimes you consider heeding their advice, but in the end you can never resist the challenge that the sky spits down.

Your whole body begins to weep. Tears of pain make their slow pilgrimage downwards, towards the end of their existence.

For you are only human, you are limited, and you can only carry so much weight before you begin to protest. With every motion, you strike at the rain, then retreat again in defeat. And tears are torn from you with each stroke.

A Challenge Worthy of a Fool

I can feel the burn of their taunting eyes. The slow drag of tongues over lips betrays their anticipation as I swallow. My smile emerges as a grimace. Strange. I was pretty sure that I was grinning just a moment ago as I put the chopsticks to my mouth. Odd. Everything is a little bit blurry, but I can’t figure out why. My recollection of the events leading up to this seems to be as fuzzy as my vision. What had I done?  Ah yes, a few minutes ago I had boasted that I could conquer any food. What a fool I was to take this food. And to eat it, that vegetable gleaming so innocently red.

My gasp only drags the agony downwards. Yes, now I know why my lips refuse to turn upwards, and why my eyes are drowning.

My cutlery clatters as my hand claps over my mouth. It burns.  Little imps with thorny feet are summoning a demon on my tongue.

I should have known better, but I really am too easily fooled. It was sweet at first, caressing my tongue with its smooth outside, sliding reassuringly past my lips. Encouraged, I bit down. Fire exploded, sending molten sensations throughout my mouth. Like an angry firebird it spread its wings, consuming all until only flames were left, encasing my tongue in its wretched dance. It screeches whenever I breathe and caws its horrible laughter when I attempt to soothe its fiery wrath.

Water falls, abandoning me along with my ego, along with my trust.

My other hand flounders, searching desperately as my mind screams obscenities. I must have looked comical, with a face as red as the source of my agony. So powerful it was to have taken over my body so quickly, so easily. Sweat trickles down my neck, and I can only dream of the soothing embrace of the Northern winds.

I can hear their laughter, as agonizing as the little imps sashaying across my tongue. Into a jester they had made me. What I thought was bravery was naught but foolishness.

Salty droplets flee for the safety of my shirt. Proof of my failed conquest. My hand lights upon a small white package, and I grin again. Or was it grimace? I manage to wrestle my other hand away long enough to open it and pour the content into my mouth in sweet, sweet relief.

This is a piece that I wrote a while ago, and then finally decided to edit and post. Based off of the prompt of writing about one of the five senses.