Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2017/05/28

I walked to the end of my backyard boat dock, and waited. “She always comes after dark,” I knew those words well. It had taken time, but I’d learned them.

Her name was Lyria, and she was every bit as magical, and beautiful as her name. “Lyria,” I mumbled her name, and sighed, as I waited for sunset. I knew she’d arrive soon enough. She’d promised.

As I waited, I closed my eyes, and tried to paint her face in my mind. I found I couldn’t. No image I could conjure, no matter how simple, no matter how detailed, could capture what I saw when I looked at her. I sighed, then took a deep breath. “I keep trying, though I know it’s futile.”

The sun touched the horizon on the far side of the lake, and I felt my pulse rising. I felt everything in those moments. The soft breeze from the land, back to the lake, as the ground cooled more rapidly than the lake. A cool breeze. Just enough for my skin to sense it. Just enough for me to shudder at the exquisite sensation. I closed my eyes, and let my arms, shoulders, sides feel the breeze.

After a few moments, I opened my eyes, and found the sun. More of it was hidden now. The light of the sky was changing. Reds, pinks, oranges, and golds, started to paint the sky. It was all reflected on the surface of the lake. Such a still surface, no waves, no ripples. Like a mirror.

The clouds changed from white, cotton candy, to orange and gold cotton. The finest cotton of all, perfect puffs, each with feathered edges, pillowed puffs, and trails of fibers tying them together. The filled the sky, as far as I could see. I sat down, hung my feet off the end of the doc, let my toes touch the water.

“Lyria.”

I waited, as I watched the sun fall behind the horizon. Like a curtain being drawn upward, instead of lowered. The day was drawing to an end.

“She always comes after dark.”

I watched as more of the sun disappeared, with a brilliant flash of gold that lit the sky. The day had ended. It was dark, except for the light reflected and refracted by the clouds. So many shades of gold, yellow, orange. I couldn’t have painted a better sunset had I tried. I knew, no one could ever capture such a sunset, even with a camera. Any camera. It would be a small glimpse, a small sliver of the real image. And image I could remember. One I could paint in my mind, even if I didn’t close my eyes.

It was almost time.

I waited. My toes rested on the water’s surface. I didn’t move. I felt the water, let it talk to my toes, my skin, me. Touch can be so wonderful. Can express so much. Can say so much words can never capture.

Lyria came to me. Across the water of the lake, she walked, like it was solid ground. She stopped just out of my reach. She always did. I knew not to follow her. Not to reach for her. There are beings in this world we are not meant to hold. To touch them is to corrupt them. To ruin them.

I would not, could not ruin her.

She stood, on the water, and smiled at me, as she placed the tips of her fingers on my cheek. I cried. I always cried.

Then, Lyria sang.

And my heart was free.

When the dawn arrived, I stirred. I would be stiff. I was always stiff after I slept on the dock. But I did not care.

Lyria had come. As she’d promised. As she’s promised again, after she sang that night. A song she’s meant only for me. I heard her words. “When the time is right, I would see you again.”

I would be there, on the end of the dock. Waiting. When the time was right. Watching as the sun set. And the sky was transformed once again. For I knew.

Lyria would come.

And I knew, as did she. So long as she came, and sang for me, and touched my face, and held me while I slept.

My heart would find the will to keep going in a world I never made.

731 words
@mysoulstears


Miranda Kate‘s weekly short fiction challenge is in it’s 12th week. You can read about the challenge here. I continue to enjoy writing for it every week so far. And every week I wonder where the words came from. Seems I just have to get out of my way, and let each story happen. Please, go read her short tale this week, and any others that show up.

#FlashMobWrites Week 1×36 : Fanfare

You think I’m broken, wounded, bitter. All I ever say is negative, hard to hear. I know this. I’ve heard your words, the things you say when you think I’m not listening, when you think I can’t hear you.

“He’s so negative. Why do I bother to ask him anything?”

But, you don’t know. There are things I don’t speak of, don’t share, hide. Things I keep locked away from the world, so the world can’t reach them, can’t hurt them, can’t tear them apart, can’t rip them from my heart.

Like how I never got married. Yeah, I know, I’ve heard it all. I’ve heard them talk among themselves, “All he needs is to get laid.” What the fuck does that even mean? Does anybody know what that means? “All he needs is a woman,” like that says anything different. Like a woman would tame me, make me into a normal person.

I never got married for a reason. See. I never found her, never found who I’m looking for. You don’t know it, no one does. But it’s there, inside me. A dream I have of her.

I never got married, because I’m holding out for a dream I’ll never have. A dream of a woman whose hand I can hold. Whose magic laughter chases away the demons haunting me. The same demons that haunt those people who say “He just needs to get laid.” I know it’s the same demons. I can see those demons in them, in their eyes. Hear them in their voices, that fear of someone knowing too much, getting too close, finding out who you really are. Learning something about you they can use against you, they can manipulate you with.

Except for her.

That dream woman knows when I’m wounded, angry, frightened, frustrated from the events of my day. The stress of deadlines, of bosses demanding the impossible. She knows to put her hand on my shoulder, to whisper in my ear, “It’s OK. It’s OK.” She knows to show me I’m not alone, to remind me she’s there. To let me know it’s OK to feel everything, to feel trapped at my job, to feel angry about my work, and the silly deadlines, and the politics that happen there. To feel endlessly frustrated, because the misery never ends. She’s the one on whose shoulder I can cry. She’ll be my friend, my companion.

Why is everything always about sex? What is it with people? “He just needs to get laid.” Ha! That’s all wrong. I just need to find her.

And it works both ways, you know. She’ll be the dream woman I can hold when she’s wounded, when her heart aches, bleeds from the wounds this life carves into her soul. One I can carry when she’s too damaged by this world, this life, to walk on her own. To let her know she’s not alone. I’ll let her know it’s OK to feel everything. And I’ll be there when she needs me. I’ll be the one on whose shoulder she cries.

That’s why I never married.

I never found her.

But I haven’t given up. I’m still holding out for that dream. My dream. I know it’s every guy’s dream. To find that one person, that one friend. To find her. She’s out there, somewhere. All I can do until I find her is keep looking. And keep holding out, and dreaming.


I tried to write this for #FlashMobWrites 1×36, hosted by Ruth Long and Cara Michaels. But I couldn’t find the words, or the way to get them on the page in time. But not that I managed to find some of the words, and a way to get those few words on the page, I’m sharing it. Now, please, go read all the stories in for #FlashMobWrites 1×36. You might find something you like. But if you don’t read them, how will you ever know?

G is for Green

She was not well, I could tell. Another migraine, my best guess. That and the never-ending pain of the fibromyalgia. Another man would have known there was nothing he could do. No way to help, other than be quiet, and be there. If she needed him.

But, I’m not normal. I’m not another man. I’m me. While it remained true I couldn’t remove her pain, couldn’t cure her migraine, I wasn’t totally helpless. There was something I could do.

As she sat on the sofa, I sat on the floor, facing her, and in a quiet voice I asked, “Trust me?”

She nodded. I smiled. “Then, close your eyes and dream.” I took her hands in mine, and she closed her eyes, as I captured a dream and turned it into words for her…

Feel the softness of the breeze as it touches your skin, caresses your face. Hear it pass among the trees, the soft music it plays as it rustles their leaves. Open your eyes and look around at the green everywhere you can seen. So many shades, from pale to strong, and light to dark. The way the sunlight filters through the trees, beams hanging in air here and there. Fields of leaves flickering in the light, as the breeze moved them about.

Look to the canopy of the forest you’re in, so high over head. See how it paints the sky in shades of green, filled with gaps of blue, and the gold of the sunlight. Listen as you hear the sounds of pinecones, acorns, and nuts fall through the forest, bouncing off branches and limbs, until they strike the ground.

In the distance, you hear the sound of water in the, flowing in a stream, over rocks, and between the trees. Sometimes quiet, almost silent. Sometimes, roaring in rapids, and maybe even a waterfall.

Now and then, you walk, to another space along a trail, in the forest wonderland. Every time you stop, you drink in the magic of a world that’s real. One not made by the hand of man. One that was there before we were, and will be there after all of us are gone.

For this is life’s gift to you this day. A land that’s alive, painted in the colors of sunlight, blue sky, and an endless sea of shades of green.

Close your eyes, my friend.

And dream.

Dreams : Orchids

May I ask one thing of you
On this Monday morning
My dear friend?

If I may,
The please.
Close your eyes,
And dream.

And if dreams will not come,
Then you should know,
I’ve captured one
To give to you.

So, please close your eyes
And I will share
This dream I’ve found
For you.

Sit there.
On the bench.
In the middle of the room.
Its floor of stone beneath your feet.

Outside its cold.
There’s ice and snow.
But within the room
It’s always warm.
Always quiet.
Always calm.

Leave the snow,
The ice,
The biting wind,
Outside. Where they belong.

And sit there.
On the bench.
Where it’s always warm.

Close your eyes,
And take a breath
Of the sweet air
In this room.
Air painted with the flavors
Of the orchids
Everywhere.
Just drink in the flavors.
Don’t even try
To separate them.
Tell them apart.

What would be the point?
Would you separate the colors
From a work of art?
What would a Rembrandt be?
If torn apart that way?
Here’s all the red.
The black.
The green.
The yellow.
It just wouldn’t be the same.

It’s best to leave it all
The way it is.
To leave the picture whole.
And drink it in.

Then, let your eyes begin
To enjoy the colors
Of the room.

The whites.
The pinks.
Yellows, Browns, Red and greens.
Of hundreds of orchids
In full bloom.

I never knew,
Did you,
They had so many blooms.
But look at them.
They do.
Five, six, seven,
Sometimes even more.
On a single stem.
All lined up in a row.

The ones that bloom in clusters
Are just as beautiful.
Like a firework that’s exploded
In the night,
Painting balls of color
In the sky.

This is the dream
I found for you.
So,
Sit there.
In that room.

Where all the cold of winter,
All the ice and snow,
Gets washed away.
And you can feel alive
Once more.

Now, my dear friend.
I ask of you.
Please.
Close your eyes.
And dream.

Colorful Induction

Every since she was a little girl, Gail dreamed of being a fairy. She dreamed of being able to fly with wings of her own. Of leaving a trail of glitter in the sky. Of using her fairy magic to help other girls like her. She looked wistfully out her window every night, spending hours wishing she could fly from house to house, to find other girls like her. Girls without hope. Girls without dreams.

Gail was dying. Each day brought death a step closer. Each day she felt the weakness in her limbs grow, the fluttering of her heart grow more frequent, her breath grow more shallow, her pulse grow slower, and weaker.

She sat in her chair, staring out her window, looking at the clouds, and wished she could be a fairy, and fly in the sky at least once before her time in life reached its end.

That’s when the fairies answered her. Flying through her window. Spreading fairy dust of gold and silver all around the room, and all over her, as they sang a song of flying in the sky.

Gail fell asleep that night, sitting in her chair. “Thank you, fairies,” she declared, “for your lovely song.”

She woke up the next morning, resting on her window sill, beneath the light of the rising sun, her heartbeat regular and strong, the breeze caressing her hair. She sat up on the window sill to discover she wore a dress of rose leaves, held together by strong silk, woven by the spiders. She realized there were no shoes on her feet, and someone had woven tiny blue flowers into her hair.

Gail had to smile, for she knew there were fairy wings upon her back. Shaped like the wings of a butterfly, in sapphire blue and white. Wings all her own.

She remembered the fairies that had visited her that night, with glitter of gold, and silvery white, and the song they sang to her. And she knew somehow the fairies flight, and the glitter of the night were a colorful induction of her wounded, lonely heart into the sisterhood of fairies.

She knew she would fly on fairy wings that night.

#VisDare 22 : Flight Of Fancy

That night as Alice and I sat on the sofa, she asked me once again, “Do you really think I’m pretty?”

I let my fingers gently trace the line of her cheek, feeling her soft, brunette hair. “You are the prettiest woman I’ve ever seen.” Alice smiled, and briefly kissed me.

She pulled her feet up on the sofa, and put her head in my lap. We slept on the sofa that night. And I had a dream. I saw Alice, dressed in black, on her knees, her arms wrapped around herself. Ghostly figures flitted in and out of existence above her. And I knew she was sad. Her heart in pain, her soul in tears.

I’d never felt anything like that. Never had a dream like that. We both woke before the dawn. I held her close. “So many memories,” she whispered. “So many lost.”

146 Words
@LurchMunster


This is the 18th piece in a continuing story I’m working through for Angela Goff’s Visual Dare. Please read the other entries in this week’s Visual Dare challenge.

#VisDare 17 : A Cat’s World

The images on the wall came to an end. Alice smiled. “You really think I’m pretty?”

“Prettier than any woman I’ve ever seen.”

She hugged me. I didn’t mind at all. “Tomorrow, I’ll take you to Old Phoenix.”

I slept on the sofa in her home that night, and dreamed of her.

After breakfast, Alice and I walked over the hills behind her home, into the ruins of an ancient city. “This was Phoenix, Arizona.” We walked down streets lined with buildings. “This is where we met the animals.”

I noticed cats, dozens of them, along the streets as we walked. I heard dozens of different voices in my head, “Alice is visiting! Who’s that with her? Is he safe?”

Alice watched me looking at cats. “You can hear them, can’t you?”

I nodded yes.

“And yet, you came from one of the caves. That’s never happened before.”

148 Words
@LurchMunster


This is the 13th piece in a continuing story I’m working through for Angela Goff’s Visual Dare. Please read the other entries in this week’s Visual Dare challenge.

A Little Faith

It has occurred to me.
If I am afraid to try.
If I am afraid of life.
Why am I still here?
Why am I slowly reaching for
New things?
Why am I slowly bringing
Dreams to life?

I’ve got a job.
Had it for a year now.
I know
It’s not the best job.
But it’s a good first step
Into a life
I never had.
A life
I denied myself.

A lot of people act
As if the job I have
Is all wrong for me.
That I should have a job
Like the one
I used to have.
Before all this started.
Two years ago.

They don’t know.
They don’t understand.
They see the world
Differently from me.

I didn’t get this job
By sheer dumb luck.
I picked it.
I waited.
And when it was time.
I applied for it.
I chose it.

Because it gives me
What I need
In my life right now.

Time.
Time to heal the wounds
In my heart and soul.
Time to change my course
Through life.
Time to write.
Time to dream.
Time to learn new things.

There’s nothing wrong at all
With the job I have right now.
Nothing at all.

I want to write, you know.
I always have.
It’s always been a dream
Of mine.
One that I gave up,
‘Cause everybody knows,
You can’t make a living
Writing stories.

I had to grow up.
Get a real job.
Be an adult.
Not a dreamer.

So here I am.
With the job I know
Most people don’t approve of.
I can almost hear them say,
“It’s sad.
So sad.
What happened to him.
The fall he’s made.
The broken person
He’s become.
He’ll never be the same.”

Just another victim
Of the ways of life.
We’ll leave him behind.
He fell by the wayside.
But the rest of us
Are OK.

Yeah.
I hear those voices.
Hear those thoughts.
And I know them
To be false.

For the truth is something more.
I changed.

I’m not the person
I once was.
I’m me.
The way I’m meant to be.

And with time.
And patience,
I’ll learn
The things I need to learn.
To breathe life
Into the dreams I have.

Step by step.
Day by day.
I’ll find a way
To use the skills I have
To help those around me.

And one day at a time,
I’ll find a way
To write.

I can’t help but feel
I’m on my way.

I just need
To have a little faith
In me.

It Wasn’t A Dream

Karen sat down on the foot of the bed. She hated being there. In a locked room. Nothing but a white hospital style bed. She’d been trapped in that room for several weeks. Every since she’d been hurt. She’d tried to explain to them what had happened. She patiently wrote it all down on paper. She drew pictures using stick figures. She became frustrated, and screamed at them. Told them how stupid they were. They weren’t listening to her.

They always brought her back to the room. Strapped her to the bed. Gave her a shot of something that put her to sleep.

If she behaved like they wanted her to, they’d let her out now and then. With someone always there with her. To bring her back to the room if she didn’t behave just right.

No one understood. If she slept, that’s when it all happened. That’s when she moved to the other world. The so-called doctors explained it was some kind of a sleep disorder. Where she dreamed in her sleep, and acted out the dreams in real life. That she’d had a bad dream. In the dream, she’d been injured by a knife. Stabbed in her left side. They said she’d done it herself. They said it explained how her husband found her on the floor of the kitchen, blood everywhere, when he got home from work one night.

As she sat on the foot of her bed, leaned back. Then fell asleep, her feet still resting on the floor. Her arms spread, her hands hanging off the edges of the bed. That’s when she realized she was in a swamp. Trees everywhere. The ground was boggy, with lots of water standing on it. Here toes were in the muddy water. So were the two feet of the bed.

That’s when she sat up. That’s when she smiled. That’s when she laughed. Her bed! It was with her! Now, everyone would see. Now everyone would know. She leaned back on the bed. Closed her eyes. Everyone would finally see, she wasn’t lying. She wasn’t crazy. She wasn’t dreaming. She was moving into an adjacent reality. A dangerous reality that was anything but a dream.

She kept her eyes closed. And listened. Until she fell asleep.

She woke with two big orderlies shaking her. Two of the doctors were at the foot of the bed. Everyone in the room looked confused. They wanted to know how she’d hidden the bed. How she’d hidden herself. She’d been missing for hours. And suddenly, she’d just magically reappeared in her room. Asleep on her bed. With her feet soaked. Mud caked on the bed’s legs.

She told them.

They strapped her to the bed. “Don’t lie to us. Tell us the truth.”

She cried herself to sleep that night. Praying for he nightmare to finally end.

 

This was written in response to the prompts for the 30th SatSunTails flash fiction challenge, hosted by Rebecca Clare Smith. The challenge limits the story to 150 words. I found I couldn’t strip this one down that way. Too much would be left out. But, if you would, please visit the SatSunTails page, and read the stories for the challenge this week. they are all very well crafted.

Fairies : Sunshine Got To Say Good-Bye

Dream looked at her adopted sister, Sunshine.
“I know I promised
I would make a dream for you.
Any dream you wish.
But, sister,
Is that really
The story you wish?”

Sunshine smiled, “Yes.”

As Sunshine slept that night,
Dream came to visit her.
She placed her little hands
On Sunshine’s cheeks.
“Dream,” was all she said.

Sunshine had a dream that night
Of the night
Her Father died
Trying to save her sister
Musica.

She saw her sister Musica,
Broken and bleeding
On the floor.
A man was standing over her.
Beating her to death.

Sunshine’s father entered,
Breaking through the door.
His fairy wings were broken.
He could not fly right then.

The roof of the house
Just lifted up
And sailed away.
Leaving Scream the dragon
Standing there,
Looking into the room.

Scream picked up the man
Beating Musica.
And crushed him
Like he was a grape.

Then Scream screamed,
He gently lifted Musica.
To take her someplace safe.

As he left the village that night
He used his dragon breath
Setting everything on fire.

Sunshine’s father died that night.
In the fires Scream had set.
He couldn’t fly
To get away.

Sunshine never got the chance
To say good-bye to him.

But in her dream that night,
Sunshine got to speak
With her Father one last time.
In her dream that night,

Sunshine got to say good-bye.