‘A moth-craft, ether, a plant that tells your fortune’
Those crumpling brown wings, which I once thought ugly and decrepit, let the sun through so beautifully, that I had no choice but to embrace its warmth. I stood beneath that large moth as it flew overhead, the rays overlaying another shade of brown to my skin. At last I bathed in it, and let it fasten itself to me. Then, as I strolled through the rest of the garden, the clouds drew themselves together. They were following the trail of liquid behind me – so I called to them:
‘Come, children, follow behind me.’
They were often jealous and angry, shifting their moods more frequently than the seasons themselves
(but I suppose in that sense they do take after their mother).
Cumulo chased ahead, riding the mists of the azure. The concave sky gave into his weight, as he dipped into the atmosphere to walk alongside me and drink from the pools of hawkmoth below my feet that carried me forward. In rage I blew him back up into the air, but in rage he blew it back out at me, flooding my pools with rain. Drop by drop, I began to fall through the slow-forming marsh, encased in his horrid opaque secretion, like that hideous spineless creature I expelled those years ago.
‘The dress spoke for her’
She had no need to tell the world her intention – the dress spoke for her. She ascended to the stage.
It told the world:
‘Walking back home along the rim of the galaxy’
A bed of thorny white roses lay strewn across the garden;
the flowers spilled over the walls and the vines coiled in and around empty
bricks, thick and piercing. The evening sun threw itself across the leaves,
turning them transparent. Their veins suddenly rose to the surface, like a
diver swimming to the top of the ocean’s surface, the frothing waves matching
the tone of the flowers.
Two young boys stood, arms crossed, shoulders hunched,
loitering outside what was usually a post-40 dominated neighbourhood. Their
slumping bodies moved secretly, exchanging glances and hushed but cool tones as
they slipped joints between their fingers and sipped in the smoke, clouds
enveloping their faces.
One blasted reggae out of a boombox larger than him, and slid next to me, an intruder. The roses quivered under the weight of the music, and closed up for protection. I tip-toed over them but was grabbed by the waist of the second boy and saw the sun vanish to the other side of the world. He looked into my eyes and told me he saw the milkyway. I told him he must have seen the chocolate. He laughed, and didn’t stop.
One of the roses coiled itself around my foot, brown turning pink, and threw me all the way back home. As I was being thrown, all I heard was his laughter echo around me.
Time travel, a bookmark, the angel gabriel.
‘Angel Gabriel, how did I die?’
‘Your mother was Hera, your father, Zeus.’
‘So they made me die?’
‘It’s so dark here.’
‘Use the light from my wings, follow me to the Underworld.’
The house was as it always was; the concoctions of must and chipping paint gave it its usual pungent smell, while the ever-expanding cobwebs decorated the plain walls nicely. Like the residents, the spiders themselves were scarcely seen, however, meaning that the space between the walls were often left blank. An empty home was a strange sight indeed. No family, no dining table, no white picket fence here.
WRITING PROMPT #70
Write a poem or story in eleven lines or less. Write it as if you were writing a photograph. You can make the moment personal or choose to write from fiction. What was that moment like, the second your firstborn child came from his mother? Describe the moment you heard terrible news. Or Goldilocks, when she first woke to find herself surrounded by three grizzlies. Let images take the place of feeling. Let the atmosphere set the tone. I know I say that a lot, but I mean it EVERY TIME.
She ran the quill’s feather through her fingers, with each stroke an old thought arrived and vanished. These thoughts fluttered around in her head, like a million different birds all singing different tunes to tell things to one another in secret codes. How was she to decipher their songs? A neatly bound book fell under her gaze; it had been placed at an angle on the left side of her father’s desk. Her fingers abandoned the quill and reached for the volume. And so, with a new play-thing in her hands arrived a new thought — should she be doing this? Perhaps her father was right, women were not suited for the life of a novelist. Thinking this, she opened the front cover of the novel, and inside read: ‘Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen’. This, she thought, is whom I aspire to be. She immediately relinquished the songs of the birds, and instead listened to the quiet, dipping back into her mind and her quill into her ink, writing fervently.
This was written as part of National Novel Writing Month 2017, [Day 6, Writing Prompt #70]