“Stories”

Beginnings aren’t hard,
they happen with every day.
But endings don’t appear
till there’s no more to say.

Middles are the odd ones,
trickier than the rest.
They’ll slip right through your fingers
illuminating you, when you’re not the best.

Between the beginning and the end
is where we lose the most.
When the destination fades
and the journey takes us to a rocky coast.

Outside, inside
or wherever the path will show.
Dirt roads and hardwood floors
are more similar than you’d know.

You’d think there was direction
set into the world like stone,
but even steps into the ocean
will show you are not alone.

Go on weary traveler,
not all is lost.
Even the hottest, burning fire
gets bitten by the frost.

Stories go every way,
and sometimes even none.
Just because yours doesn’t match the others
doesn’t mean its less than what another’s done.

No matter how long it takes,
the end will be waiting for you.
Just enjoy the middle, because before you know it
the next adventure will begin anew.

Photo by Vlad Bagacian on Unsplash

Flash Fiction – "Creation"

It was a game she liked to play.

The steam rose into the air. Jasmine, rose, the caffeine of the black tea all blended together into one. It made the room smell like flowers. From the right corner of her desk the tiny porcelain cup let the steam fly in a steady stream, the tulips painted onto the glass dancing in breeze that wasn’t there. The cup would never cool and in turn, let the room fill with everlasting spring.

The writer looked up from her keyboard to the cup at the corner of her desk. Dew on the grass, fresh air dancing in the sun, bright beautiful flowers all permeating into the essence of the room.

Across the room, a glimmer of steel caught the writer’s sight. Slowly, she watched the shape coalesce before her eyes. The tip appeared first, silver as stars and sharper than a corner, with the body following after. Long, but lean enough to be a comfortable weight when held, and built to move like the wind. It’s handle was wrought in sunlight itself, golden and as shining as the day.

She rose from her desk slowly, letting her fingers linger to tap on the surface. It was right there just waiting for her to take it. Some part of her though still believed she was dreaming. So… she reached for the tea first, because that was more likely to be real. Her hand reached out only to pause before the little porcelain handle. Then gingerly, like petting a strange animal, she let her fingers tap on the surface. Hot to the touch. Then, braver, she reached all the way and nearly burned her hand when the steaming cup was in her palms. When the tea went down, it was like drinking from a meadow. The writer put the cup back on the desk.

One step, then two she crossed the room. The way the sunlight was streaming through the window almost made the sword seem like a mirage. As if when she reached out to touch it all she would find would be the wall. The writer steeled herself, letting her fingers reach… then close… fingertip… by fingertip around the golden handle. Her body was very still. Even after having played this game a few times before, she still could not believe that this was real life. The weight in her hand was not imagination by the way her bicep braced. Cautiously, she pointed the blade at the window.

There were a few other sentences she had written.

Once the sword was in the girl’s hand a shadow appeared as the wind blew east….

Through the open window a gust rocked the hinges of the shutters and sent a chill down her spine.

The strange scent of sugar burned to a crisp pervaded the sweet smell of spring. Magic was afoot…

Her nose crinkled. It wouldn’t be long now.

The shadow moved closer, the shape shifting with the wind, until it wasn’t a shadow but a someone at the window.

A clang rang the air as steel met steel. The someone said “Are you ready?”

Standing sword to sword, the writer answered “Always.” Then she smiled, the girl on the opposite side of the window smiling too.

A grand adventure was waiting just for them to go and meet it.

Photo by Florian Klauer on Unsplash

Living Life #14 “Cicada”

(a collection of independent vignettes)

The forest was alive.

I could tell from the ground. Solid and unyielding, it was the only thing keeping me standing. Like two lead pencils, I felt like my legs were inching instead of walking. Each heavy step I took seemed to echo and reverberate back to the core of the Earth. The dirt was marking my path, I only hoped they weren’t paying too much attention.

I could tell from the roots. Thick and strong, worn with time but all the more wise for it. Nearly tripping over one, I braced myself against the tree and took a breath. Keeping my head down, my eyes drank in the sight. Wrinkles, like memories, etched into their bark as deep as trenches, hiding secrets that were waiting for someone to come and figure them out. They looked like hands reaching down to grab that which I didn’t know. But something worth while. I wanted to stay here, I wanted to figure out their truth. They were the reason I had come at all.

But I had been rash, and overlooked something. Something important.

I could tell from the air. It was breathing. The wind inhaling with slow, gentle breezes letting the leaves, as green and vibrant as life, take the exhale. I was alone. That was the lie they were telling me. And the worst part was I wanted to believe them. But that would make us both liars.

And it would make only me the naive one. It was a word my mother had called me too many times. In hindsight, I guessed she was right. About that, and something else.

Don’t go into the forest.

I smiled, but there was no happiness in it. Everything was quiet. And then all of a sudden, everything went loud. They found me.

Three shadows had come up behind me. In all of my struggle to get away from them I didn’t have much energy left. I had been running for five hours straight. Any normal human being, especially a girl who looked more like a flower than a tree, shouldn’t stand a chance against the watchers of the forest. The hulking ones I had thought only existed in legend.

In the hard way I guessed I had learned of one of the forests secrets. But the revelation was more bitter than sweet.

At least now there were only three human sized ones left. The first of the five had drowned when I ran behind the waterfall. The second had gotten impaled on that sharp, low lying branch a mile back. Black carapaces that upon closer inspection looked like armor instead flesh, spread knife tipped wings blocking the way I had come, and beady black eyes that never changed focus. My mother was right the deeper you travel, the scarier the forest becomes. These insects looked like they had come straight from the Jurassic period. No wonder she had kept me inside for all those years.

On the other side of these bugs there was me and, locked into my grip, my small hunting knife.

“Fine. If that’s how you want to do it.”

The forest was alive. And right now, so was I.

That was the way it was going to stay.