Lost in a Cave

“Merlin’s beard!”

“Yes?” The man grasped at his mane of white, wispy hair. He pulled it to his eye for inspection. “What about it?”

My gaze was not the only one that moved towards him. I was the only one that stepped forward and asked the question we were all thinking. We were a lost tour group in a cave and there was a man perched behind the railing with a tall, triangular hat and billowing robes.

“Is your name Merlin?” I ask.

The man pulled a twisted pipe out of his chest pocket. “Sometimes.”

“Can you help us get out of here?”

He kicked away from the cavern and in two long paces he was leaning against the railing that kept us from the cave’s natural terrors. He leaned over so our eyes met. I wondered, briefly, if he was one of those terrors.

“How old are you?” he asked, instead of answering my question.

“What does that matter?”

“You’re tiny, are you an undeveloped human or have I been here for longer than I thought?”

“I’m not undeveloped, or whatever, I’m twelve!”

“Well, that explains it them.”

I wanted to kick him, but kicking people was not the way to get what I wanted. “We need help.”

“So you’ve said,” his eyes narrowed, he blew a tendril of smoke into the space between us. “You’re very brave for asking.”

I step back. “Why? Are you dangerous?”

“Sometimes,” he winked then put his pipe back in his pocket and pulled out a long, long, wand, far too long to fit in a pocket. “But I will help you.”

With a flick of his wand, the cave around us fell away. I flinched at the light, hand rising to my eye in instinct. When I lowered it, he was gone.

It Began

It began with a whisper. Sweet nothings breathed in my ear, their meaning sent goosebumps down my neck. I pulled you closer and whispered the words back. We made love.

It ended with a gasp. Your admission told to my face, the weight of your eyes buckled my knees. I pushed you away and screamed admissions of my own. We scorched earth.

It changed with a heartbeat. Proof of our love growing inside, the life of our child transformed my mind. I paved you a path and sobbed tears of joy. We made amends.

It transformed with a cry. The birth of a person, our tangible connection entered the world. I pressed you into my soul and made a small family. We lived life.

Failure to Steep

He improperly steeps my tea. His lips form into a distracted smile as he hands me the mug but I know, it’s a power play.

He must have a reason – this man wouldn’t intentionally fail such a task. He’s British, he knows how to steep tea. He wants to see if I’ll say something. Will I?

I haven’t seen this man, this former lover, this former teacher, this former idol, for almost a decade.

He fails to steep my tea. I put it on the table, unable to play his games.

~~~

I cannot stop staring at her knees. Skin as pale as I remember, looks as soft – crap, when did I put the tea bag in? It’s distracting; the slightest movement sends her scent my way. My hands shake as I hand her the tea – I cannot remember what type it is, let alone how long I let it steep.

The Clown Murderer – an Origins Story

In a dark corner
of an equally dark mansion
swung a framed portrait
of a clown.

No one could recall
when it arrived in the corner
but it smacked mistress
and she died.

After that we knew
of the framed clown that swung at will.
Our house versus the clown,
a battle.

Soon, it turned bloody
the clown killed the heir and the spare
and then the butler.
We brought fire.

Oh, how the clown screamed
trapped in his frame, as he melted
and we did not laugh,
at this clown.

But then the next day,
in the same spot, a frame swinging
and a new clown face
murderous.

We blocked the corner
kept away the remaining child
who laughed at the clowns
with intent.

Who placed this mansion
under such a malicious curse?
We would never know.
The child grew
as most children do,
yet, he had vengeance in his heart
for he’d decided,
kill them all.
All clowns, even those
who did not swing from frames at will.

Perfectly Bowed

Her sister wrapped all the Christmas presents, every year, forever. Even if Nina tried to help, her mother would swat her hands with a rolled up newspaper.

“Don’t you touch your sister’s perfect bows,” their mother would say.

It wasn’t fair. Just because Carla could bend the ribbons with delicate precision, didn’t mean she was Santa’s Freaking Helper. How would Nina learn, if no one let her practice?

With a pile of wrapping paper covering her lap, Carla asked her little sister to pass the tape. Nina threw it. It hits Carla’s knee and ruined her meticulously constructed bow.

“I thought you wanted to help!” Carla snapped.

Nina surveyed the wrapped boxes in the corner – not a single crease.  She wanted to kick and stomp on them, do things that would definitely put her on Santa’s naughty list. Instead, she picked up the tape and handed it to her sister.

Tales in Thirds

10 words max per line. 3 lines

a series of poems related in structure but unrelated in theme

 

And though I do not know the way,
I step forward – as I always do,
one foot into the new day.

 

They set the stage, built a life;
then let subsequent decades
pick at its seams, tearing them apart.

 

One day you may wake up and wonder,
Am I a dreamer or delusional?
But then, remember: only you are following the narrative.

Prime Ape

The apes part as he walks through the Valley (or, what passed as a valley in this shit-hole of a zoo.) Once, he had a pack of thousands. Now, he had five idiots and a two-way mirror. “They” didn’t think he’d notice the people on the other side. “They” were idiots.

Ugh, people; smelly, fleshy, people. The humans no longer threw peanuts as tokens of admiration in this new cage-like Valley. It had been a weak token, but it was something.

He sits on his boulder and waits; no tokens, no gifts. Just his youngest descendant coming forward to pick fleas out of his hair. At least someone knew their place.

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