Challenge answered! And in a record number this week. Thank you for your fantastic stories inspired by last week's prompt, what you've written makes me want to know more, each and every one!
This week…what's say you do it again?
We again have fewer words, so more of the ones you write come from you, not me. These prompts are meant to get your fingers typing, nothing more. If you never use a single one of these words or images but you accept the challenge and write a wee marvelous thing, you're doing it right. Or write.
So pass this link on to a friend. To someone who wants the tiniest, friendliest, most colourful writing push. Let's see more stories, let's be gleeful together.
Blue, Blossoms, Backs, Births and Pyres
May last week's responses to falling ashes get you primed for sharing your own.
A tiny flake of blue split away from the ceiling, and another, and a third: drifting down like falling ash.
Onto Ameenah’s red-eyed face. A flake into her left eye, a flake onto her lip (and licked unconsciously away) and a flake below her nose so that when the next sneeze began, she inhaled it sharply into her sinus cavity.
Blue. Right there. In the centre of all the trouble.……The sleeping part of her blinked, took a deep, deep breath and…
## Volcano eruption in 15 minutes!
The computer voice is too loud and too shrill. I blink awake and almost fall off the chair.
My back hurts and why am I on a chair? It takes a few seconds for my brain to catch up. I was on guard duty, sitting near the computer and I must have fallen asleep, feet up on the console.
I drop my feet to the ground and only then does it register what the computer just said.
It’s the stupid blue shower puff that does it.
It’s unravelling a little at the edges, a tidemark of dried soap bubbles fragile across an edge, and she reaches out with a tentative hand. It’s crisp and dry, sharper against her skin than she expects. She pulls away, brings trembling wounded fingers to her lips, feels a thin high sound rise up like bile in her throat, helpless and bestial. It echoes…
They say that to be a martyr is a holy thing. They say it is a gift.
The thing we must remind ourselves is that it is never martyrs saying these words, for the martyrs are dead. It is the living who fill their silence. It is the living who spin reason as flowers wilt on a martyr’s grave.
“It is god’s will,” they’ll say, “it shows our faith,” they’ll say and say and say, standing on tiny squares of ground beneath which there are no bones, the bodies of the martyrs burned to ash on foreign pyres.
Recall her yellow rays?
A mem’ry now, for falling ash
Enrobes the world in grays
No birds can sing, no flowers bloom
‘Neath endless winter’s veil
That we once lived above the ground
Seems like a fairy tale
We were so foolish, arrogant
Too full of pride to see
The signs were there, we should have known
There is no Planet B.
Her grandmother had come from Yavin IV to collect her, reassuring little Kel that things would get better. “The firsts are going to be hard Kelar, but the sharp edges will wear off with time.”
And things had gotten better.
She still visited that day in her dreams though. The images would come back fresh, drawing her up and out of sleep, tears streaming down her cheeks.
falls like ash
trees silent witness
the curve of his back
the sweep of his hair
Keep going. Keep the momentum. It's what makes all the difference in writing, I promise.
rose tinted glasses, queerness, the long slow hard fought climb toward acceptance, found family, belonging
“Do you know why I like you?” Niamh asked as the waves pushed her a little further up the sandy beach, her body rolling with the flotsam as the high tide line drew nearer.
Alison laughed. “Because I’m the most beautiful human you’ve ever seen?”
She was sitting on a rock, one foot resting on the seat of her wheelchair to keep it from drifting off the path. One day they’d buy a beach chair, when they could afford it, when the check from her album finally cleared.
“Beautiful AND modest!” Niamh replied. Her sharp teeth glittered like mother-of-pearl when she chuckled. The effect would wear off in an hour or two. “No, I think I like you best for who you are. Never once broken by kindness, nor willing to break another with it.”
The next wave was the highest, from here on out Niamh would have to climb for herself. Flexing her tail and gritting her teeth, she began the arduous last 20metre crawl.
“That sounds like a backhanded way of calling me selfish,” Alison said. Her hands twitched in her lap as if they wanted to help of their own free will, but she didn’t move from her place on the rock.
“Not at all, I’m calling you wise. You don’t interfere when a person needs to do something for themselves,” Niamh’s words came slowly, punctuated by deep breathes as she pulled herself along the sand. Behind her a trail of glittering scales led back into the water. “Did I ever tell you want would happen if you’d carried me up the beach?”
Alison shrugged. “I can walk five steps at a time on a good day. I won’t ever be carrying anyone anywhere. Not an adult at least. But I figured you’d ask for help if you needed it, and I’d have found someone if you’d asked.”
Niamh stretched and flexed her tail. With ever movement the scales tore a little more.
“I’d have gone home with you helpless, because I would still be of the sea. I’d have to live in your bathtub and pine for the waves, and probably die of sadness.”
Finally her fingers closed around the wheelchairs frame. The last of her tail fell away into the sands revealing a pair of long legs when she hauled herself onto the seat. Smiling up at Alison, Niamh patted her own knee.
“So instead you live in my bed and pine for pizza?” Alison laughed. She accepted the invitation and swung down from the rock to sit sideways across her wife’s lap. Once Niamh’s legs had dried out they wouldn’t need to share for another few months before she had to go back to sea again for a while. But for now it nice to imagine sharing this space forever.
“Mostly I pine for you,” Niamh said.