Hazardous Journey, moderate pay

John’s picked at the side of his thumb where a callus ran from fingernail to palm. He had prepared for this journey, the coarse skin acted as his reminder. Yet the wooden dock still creaked as he shifted his weight from foot to foot; the ship looked smaller in person.

He had read of the journey over a cup of steaming hot water. Tea had been the cheapest option on the menu but John hated tea, so he kept the leaves on the side of the dish. The steam warmed his lips as he read the newspaper over-the-shoulder of a man who could afford three times his cup of tea.

Help Wanted – Hazardous Journey, moderate pay

Under the text was a single image of a sailboat flying over the clouds. John stared, questions falling in and out of his mind before he could even think of answers.

Was it an artistic depiction? A symbol of sort? A fiction? A truth?

He was trained a sailor but hated the sea, a travesty – but the clouds. John’s feet moved before he could stop them. The man with three plates that smelled of honeyed meats and fresh croquette turned to him mid-chew. It was only then that John realized, he had tapped on the shoulder of this other patron.

Except, John was hardly a patron and the waiter glared from the corner at his lack of sense.

It was true, he was senseless, but now he was here.

“May I have that ad,” he added, after a pause, “sir?”

The waiter started towards him and the patron chewed with slit eyes but, after a moment of consideration, he ripped the ad out of the newspaper and handed it to John.

Now he was here, on a rickety dock looking at a ship that was much too small to fly. But what did John know about flying ships?

“Help wanted!” A voice shouted from inside its confines. “All aboard that’s coming aboard.”

John clenched his palm into a fist and stepped forward.

Sailing through time

Tomasz

Photo Challenge #107

Yellow

He came into my life in a burst of yellow; yellow raincoat, yellow floppy hat, yellow bag on his shoulder. We caught the same train. From under brown eyelashes, I stared at his yellow form for six stops. At one point, the movement of the train car jostled us together but we both looked away – yellow.

I saw him next on a bright day; yellow sunlight on yellow hair, a yellow coat trailing as he ran for our train. I held the door open. Our eyes met, then fell, then met again; his were warm honey with flints of yellow. I moved to let him pass, brushing my shoulder against his but said nothing – yellow.

We met again on the platform, waiting for the yellow line train. My eyes were on the departures screen so I did not see the yellow man, only his yellow blur as he tripped over his feet and into my own. Suddenly, I was covered in thick, wet, yellow. Splatters of paint fell onto the platform as the yellow man moved into my line of sight, face apologetic as he lifted the now empty pain can.

“You yellowed me,” was all I could think to say.


 

Photo Challenge # 95: January 12, 2016

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Yellow Orchids by Liz West CC BY 2.0

New Year

She waits; face painted and eyes aglow.  The hand of the clock moves closer to the next year, a new year.  She’s gathered her apparel, adorned her jewels, and is ready to fly over the merriment. For only tonight does she live outside the minds of those who call to her, only tonight.

“Five!” Someone shouts from beyond.

“Four!” The group gets louder, she spreads her wings.

“Three!” They scream now with raised glasses.

“Two!” She hovers, breath caught.

“One!” She takes to the air as a song breaks out. Below her the humans laugh, kiss.

No one notices her vestige, no one sees her garb. Yet they feel her presence. One man twirls his partner, a lady with a wide smile, and proclaims wildly that he will turn a new leaf. A woman grabs her friend’s hand, pulls the smaller frame into a hug and resolves to laugh more. Another man gets down on one knee with a diamond, another woman throws out her pack of cigarettes….

She flies, for sixty seconds and then she disappears.

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Fairy by Teatro Escola de Pelotas CC BY 2.0

Written for: Photo Challege #93

With Him

From Heaven, I observed my charge

and felt through him; everything.

For the first time, the cold dissipated.

With him,

a summer breeze on the river;

with him,

seasons turning around a love-seat.

.

As an angel, I fell for my charge

and felt through him; everything.

For the first time, I chose.

With him,

Heaven exchanged for an embrace;

with him,

time stood still, and yet whirled by.

.

On Earth, I watched my charge age

and felt through him; everything.

For the first time, I loved.

With him,

Touch, nights, silence;

With him,

Words, laughter, sunshine.

.

In soil, I buried my human

and felt through him; nothing.

For the first time, I grieved.

Without him,

I turned to stone;

without him,

I have reached my end.


“I turned silences and nights into words. What was unutterable, I wrote down. I made the whirling world stand still” Arthur Rimbaud

Collage 6

Collage #6 Prompt

Wicked Witch!

For more Adventures of Linus and Margaret


“Margaret!” Her brother’s voice bellowed up the stairs, “Auntie Nell is here.”

Deep in the corner of her closet, hidden behind hanging clothes, Margaret was safe. Only Linus knew this spot and her brother wouldn’t come here unless – the doorknob to her room turned – mom asked him too.

Linus slid open the closet door. Margaret could make out his silhouette, hands on his hips. “Come on, she’s not that bad.”

Margaret curled into her knees. “She pinches my cheeks. Hard. And she smells bad.”

Linus snorted. “She’s Grandpa’s sister, you have to come and say hi.”

“She’s like the Wicked Witch! She yelled at me last time for tearing wrapping paper!”

Linus’ hand appeared between the clothes. “So, she likes to recycle. You like to recycle.”

Margaret bit her lip, eyes blurring. “What’s recycle?”

“Never mind, just grab my hand.”

Margaret did because the one thing she hated more than anything else in the world was angering her brother.

As they padded down the stairs Margaret could hear her Great-Aunt’s voice mixing in with her mother’s. Her Aunt laughed, an evil laugh that stopped Margaret’s steps.

“She’s only here for the afternoon.” Linus reminded.

“My cheeks hurt just from thinking about it.”

Linus hugged his sister, right there on the steps, her forehead pressing against his shoulder. He was a big boy now, nearly seven, and it was his job to protect his sister.

“I have a plan.”

Margaret looked up, tears in her eyes. “The Wicked Witch melts if we pour water on her.”

“We’re not going to pour water on her – mom would have to punish us, then.”

“Then what?” Margaret asked.

“Just follow me.”

Linus pulled his sister down the steps and towards the front door. They dashed past the living room but their mother spotted them.

“What are you two up too?” She asked from the sofa. “Come here and say hi to your Aunt.”

“We will,” Linus assured. “We just have to go out and get –” He let the sentence trail off, pulling his sister out the front door and into the snowy driveway.

“Come back here!”

“We’re going to make a snowman for Auntie Nell!” Linus yelled back towards their house, thinking quickly. He whispered towards Margret, “She won’t come out here it’s too cold.”

“She’d freeze.” Margaret smiled.

Linus nodded. “Then melt.”

Margret laughed. “And they all lived happily ever after.”


Inspirartion drawn from: Tale Weaver # 25 – When the Wicked Witch Visits.

Kiss the Sky

“I want to kiss the sky!”

“Honey,” Amber paused mid-step, catching her breath. “You’re not supposed to take that song literally.”

Charles ran back from where he led the hike, humming Purple Haze as he circled his parents. Amber envied his energy.

“What does it mean then, mom?

She met her husband’s gaze. The corner of his mouth twitched into a smile. “Go on, Am, explain to our son the deep meaning behind Jimmy Hendrix’s most infamous song.”

She snorted a laugh. “Nope. You’re right Charles, It’s about kissing the sky.”

“No it’s not! You’re lying!”

Amber sighed, grabbing her husband’s hand. They broke into a run, so close to the peak of the mountain. Their sunrise hike almost complete. She used to have the same energy levels as her son and willed her legs to remember that fact.

Her husband laughed next to her, pulling away. He lifted Charles up and tucked the boy under his arm. Charles squealed in delight.

“Almost there!” Amber led the hike now, cheeks flushed. The early morning had provided enough light to let them climb up the mountainside but only now had the sun begun its rise along the horizon.

“I want to kiss the sky!” Charles repeated from his father’s hold. “I want to kiss the sky!”

The boy kicked and kicked until his father let him go. Then he rushed to the edge of the mountain, blowing kisses towards the clouds. The golden rays framed her husband and son, washing her little family in a glow.

Her husband approached, arms wrapping around her torso as he started to kiss along her neck. He whispered in her ear, “You know what I’m thinking?”

Amber shook her head.

He released her, quietly sneaking back behind Charles. He perched behind the boy and waited a moment before attacking with wet, sloppy, noises.

Charles screeched, “Dad! What are you doing?”

“Forgot the sky. Excuse me while I kiss the son!”

They both dissolved into a heap of laughter and kisses as the sun rose over a new day.

- NEKNEERAJ

– NEKNEERAJ

Ballooned Happiness

The wood creaked under my weight as I stepped further into the room. I knew those shoes, I had bought them for his birthday; I knew that wrinkled shirt, I had washed it many times. I knew him, he was my lover.

I just want you to be happy.

And I tried to explain to him that I won’t always be happy, that it didn’t quite work that way – that I didn’t quite work that way. I won’t always be happy and that was okay. More than that, I don’t rely on others for my happiness. Yes, even him.

I saw the confusion in his eyes, then. Now, I only see his torso and his legs.

I had told him once, years ago, that balloons made me happy. I liked them from beginning to end. From inflating them, to helium sounds, to flying high into the sky. I liked popping them and bouncing them. Balloons fly and I help them with that flight.

He wanted me happy. A simple request that’s not so simple when the mind can run and twist things into demons. Yet he tried, he appeased, he indulged.

I reached out and ran my hand along the top of the balloon. “What did you do to yourself?”

He didn’t reply, couldn’t reply. Instead, he clapped his hands and let evermore balloons fly from his grasp.

- Julia Anna