Starlight’s Reprieve

She cleans;
yet in the light of the passing day,
dust particles still dance,
in spite of her efforts.
She cleans;
the infallible remains of dead skin and soil,
twirl around her,
(her only company).
She cleans;
until the light fades from the sky
the dust is silent, unseen
and she is alone.
She cleans;
until it happens:
the flickering light of a single star
then another, and another, and another.
She cleans;
mopping, sweeping, scrubbing, polishing,
but she cannot clean the stars above,
and for this she is grateful.


 

Inspired by: Microcosms 8

 

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The Horror!

“You saved my life!” The sheets shriek when Ana pulls at the pile to reveal the flushed face of her little sister.

“It was an accident, I assure you.” She drawls, dropping the sheet to cover the face again. “What are you even doing?”

The pile moves into a seated position, shifting until her little sister’s head emerges from its depths. “It’s fort time! We’re working on the blue prints. The engineering held strong until you switched on the ceiling fan and then it all came tumbling down. Bear lost a leg and Suzie may never recover but I’ve escaped unscratched and ready to build another day.”

“Right,” Ana says then starts pulling at one sheet then another, bunching them up into separate piles.

“What are you doing?” Her sister screams. She grabs at one sheet and then another, all slip through her tiny fingers. “You’re destroying my world! That’s the draw bridge – no, not the kitchens. You save my life only to take it all away. You monster! The horror! Not Bear’s tower, Bear needs his tower. All see, Ana the Horrific!”

Ana snorts and reaches for the sheet, beginning to fold. Her little sister stomps over until her feet hit Ana’s knees.

“We will avenge our lands, Ana the Horrific.” She bends low and tries to meet Ana’s eyes. “Of this we swear it.”

A head appears in the doorframe to their right; their mother’s smile is tired but still reaches her eyes. “Everything all right in here?”

Her little sister snarls and throws herself onto the carpet. “Ana the Horrific!”

“Yup,” Ana replies, meeting her mother’s eye as they both pointedly ignore her little sister. “Almost done with the laundry.”


 

Inspired by:  Cracked Flash: Year 1, Week 27

Small and Mighty

“Raise the flag!” The order comes from across the valley where my Commander’s foot rests on the corpse of our greatest enemy.

I am still out of breath from the sprint. My boots are marred with blood and bone, shrapnel bites into my side but the heavy weight of the bag across my shoulder grounds me to this cliff. I have to raise the flag.

With the flag comes true victory. Placing it is an honor bestowed upon me because of my size and strength: small and mighty. I alone climb the highest mountain and plant our emblem for the world to see.

I reach into the bag and – it’s empty. The flag is missing.

It is then that I remember the fabric draped over the trunk in the center of my tent. Set to dry after a ceremonial cleaning. My heard races, the grounds troops have turned towards my direction. They all start shouting, “Raise the flag!”

I hang my head. Small and mighty and forgetful.


 

Inspired by: Cracked Flash Year 1, Week 26