The church clock struck again. We’d waited more than an hour.
“Why’s this taking so long?”, said Ma wearily .
“It’s ok”, I replied, knowing the question was rhetorical.
Ma was still guilty about the explosion that left me blind since I was five. It was May Day and the village was celebrating. Da left his cigarette burning while he stepped outside to watch. Pretending I was a grown up, puffing on it, I choked so hard I dropped it near the gas stove. I don’t remember much else until I woke in the hospital.
Since then Ma has taken me to every faith healer that she could find.
Each time I say “For how can I be sure I shall see again?”
“The world on the first of May will be brighter that day because you’ll be able to see it.” she replies.
With anxiety at a high level I’m pacing the room unable to calm down. Everything was fine until the call from James. Why did I answer? He aggravated me more than usual.
I have to get out of here and walk before I blow a gasket.
I’m halfway down the street before realizing I had no coat. Shivering, I wandered. Lonely as a cloud nine, because they are few and far between, well at least to me. I really can’t remember the last time I was happy with James. He is probably the most high maintenance man I have ever known. I feel like I am constantly babying him. Ugh!
The night time streets are empty and I am grateful for the solitude. I’ll walk until I can cool off and then head home with a clearer head.
They sat on the stairs waiting, shoulders touching. Listening to him intently, and loving the warmth of his body next to hers. It was serendipitous she’d locked herself out of the apartment as he was coming home from work. She smiled, remembering.
“You ok?” He had said as he stood outside his door watching her struggle with her door.
“Yes, fine” she had responded, not wanting him to see how frustrated she was.
“You’re locked out, aren’t you?” He said with a smile on his face. “I’ll call a locksmith for you.”
“Not necessary” she said. Embarrassed at her own incompetence. This was not how it was supposed to be. She’d had a much better idea in her head how it would be when they finally met.
But she thought, “It is a moon wrapped up in brown paper.” Sometimes blessings come in disguise.
She looked over the top of her glasses, perched on the end of her nose. There he was standing in front of French Literature. Her heart skipped remembering the last time he had stopped by the desk for assistance.
Sighing, she turned her attention back to cataloging the pile of books that were in front of her. Busying herself she hadn’t noticed he’d moved across the library floor and was now standing in front of her.
“You look as if you need a break.” he said in a bright, cheerful manner.
Startled she dropped the book she was holding.
“Excuse me?” she said looking up smiling as she realized it was him
“Would you like to have lunch with me?” he asked.
“Yes!” she answered, maybe too quickly.
“Great!“ he said. “Oh, and bring no book, for this one day we’ll give to idleness.”.
Ingrid is hosting Monday Prosery at D’Verse Poets and has prompted us with the line: “And bring no book, for this one day we’ll give to idleness.” from from Wordsworth’s ‘Lines Written at a small distance from my House…‘ We are to use the line in our piece of Flash Fiction (Prosery). The rule is that Prosery should be no more than 144 words, excluding the title.
As a child she remembered climbing on the rubble of what was once terraced houses. Sometimes discovering staircases standing alone, still intact but minus the bannister
A treasure trove of others belongings could still be found in the heap of bricks. Books, sometimes photos with singed edges, a toy, or a tin of buttons.
Looking back, understanding a child’s innocence of the horrors that had barely preceded her, she wondered “What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow out of this stony rubbish?”. A debris of once loved abodes full of life becoming a playground wonderland.
Then rising from the ashes to become concrete and glass, a new way of living for many in incomprehensible heights above a broken city bombed from recognition.
She stared up at a tower block born from that wreckage now decaying from neglect. What goes around, comes around.
Time had passed since Abigail heard the voices so maybe the coast was clear.
They had been muffled at first until the footsteps got closer, and then she could clearly hear the familiar, distinct southern drawl. Two men conversing, unaware of her presence as she lay silent and motionless in the undergrowth, not daring to breathe. She recognized the plantation foreman, Ned, immediately.
“As I said Caleb it ain’t gonna make an ounce of diff’rence. You can lock ‘em up at nightfall but if they want it bad enough, they’ll as sure as hell try and make a run for it”
“So if all do their duty, they need not fear harm?” Responded the younger man.
“Exactly” said Ned, “They just need direction” his voice trailing off as they moved away.
Abigail shuddered, remembering the whipping she had received the last time she escaped.
Her early morning beach walk cleared the lingering fog in her head. Remnants of heady passion from the night before were hard to shake off.
Surprised to see him when she had opened her eyes. Sunlight shining on his bronzed body. She’d half expected him to have left without a word. She panicked slightly, and pulled on her shirt slipping silently out the door.
She sat studying the clouds.
“There you are” she heard a voice say
She turned. He was walking along the damp sand towards her.
“Why did you leave?” he asked. His voice slightly accented.
“Just looking for familiar objects in these clouds.” she answered without thinking.
“But these clouds are clearly foreign, such an exotic clutter against the blue cloth of the sky”, he said.
“Clouds speak in the universal language”, her voice a little husky. “Don’t you know that?”
Meal is hosting D’Verse Poets Prosery Monday and has prompted us with writing a piece of Flash Fiction of no more than 144 words, excluding the title, using the line “Crucial to finding the way is this: there is no beginning or end” taken from Jo Harjo’s “A Map to the Next World.”