Social Combat

Dodging insults hurled like bullets
Willing myself to be invisible
Sticking to the perimeter behind enemy lines
Ducking into the nearest open classroom door like diving into a foxhole
Camouflaging myself in groups of teachers to avoid the assailants
Watching the time counting down as I finally join my allies
My comrades and I have strength in numbers
Navigating middle school is like fighting a daily battle
My social life is on the line

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– Written for WordPress Blogging University, Intro to Poetry, Day 4: Journey, Simile. Photo by Richard Caton Woodville, Jr., from Wikipedia.
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Soulmate

Family by choice, in spite of repeated objection,
Risk of rejection.
Innocent love, in light of dejection,
Endeavors to remain true.
Never apart by heart from you.
Devoted friends and lovers by
Soul’s selection.

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– Written for WordPress Blogging University, Intro to Poetry, Day 3: Friend, Acrostic.
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Transformation

At first, I waited in the darkness for death to come. Then a glint of light compelled me to struggle. Some unknown force pulled me out of my peaceful surrender. I longed to be free. I writhed and wriggled until my entrapment gave way. My coruscant wings unfurled in the morning sun.

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– Written for Grammar Ghoul Press Shapeshifting 13 #52. Word prompts were “force” & “coruscant.” WC 52. Photo from Wikipedia.

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Horse Haven

His absence was a heavy blanket over the ranch.

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Elliot removed Bullet’s saddle and said, “I know it’s been a while since you’ve ridden. You did well today. Your uncle would’ve liked to see you and Bullet together again.”

I looked at the horse standing a few feet away, twitching its ears at me. “Bullet is getting old. You plan to retire him soon?” I asked.

“Yeah, Deke and I chatted about that before…well, not too long ago.” He glanced at me, pained.

“Just more unfinished business.” I half-smiled and patted Elliot on the back. “I’ll brush Bullet. You go on inside and wash up.” I offered.

Uncle Deke was a loud, boisterous man, the life of Horse Haven. He built it from the ground up, on his back with sweat and blood. His absence was a heavy blanket over the ranch. The sky was gray since his passing, and even the animals were mourning. I talked to Bullet as I lead him to the stables.

“You probably don’t remember when your mother passed, Bullet, but I do. I remember the day you were born ‘ole boy. Maggie gave her life for yours and mine.” He shook his head as if he understood. “She taught me about death and life. She gave me you.” I hugged him hard around his neck. “I’m sorry I haven’t been here lately.” He snorted, with annoyance, it seemed. Then he leaned into me returning my affection.

“I remember Deke holding me and letting me cry over Maggie till I ran out of tears. Then he showed me how to care for you, buddy.”

Deke told me to pay attention to what I was feeling, the sadness, the anger, and remember the love as well. He said he and Elliot felt that strongly for me and that I should take all of that and honor them and Maggie by living the best life I can while I can.

“It’s going to be tough without him, boy.” I let myself cry it out with my old friend. Bullet comforted me with gentle nudges. Even in my sadness, it felt good to be home.

After I showered, I joined Uncle Elliot in the kitchen to help finish making dinner. We sat together to eat and reminisce. A light rain began to fall, and the rhythmic pattering on the windowpane reminded me how exhausted I was.

I remembered Deke telling me about my parent’s car accident. Deke and Elliot raised me here on the ranch. Deke stepped up and took on the responsibility of his sister’s infant daughter. He told me I got my strong will from her, and my nurturing spirit from my dad and it just made sense that I should live with him, and help raise the horses.

I don’t know much else in life that does make sense.

I said goodnight to Elliot and reminded him that I was here to talk if he needed me, and went to my old room to get some sleep.

The morning sun woke me and melted away the remaining gray. A clear sky left me with an unbroken view of the Haven. The same view from my childhood.

I thanked Deke for everything and promised to honor him with the life I have left. Off in the distance, I saw a rainbow encircling the stables. I smiled as a tear slid down my cheek.

– Written for YeahWrite.me Fiction|Poetry weekly writing challenge #264. Prompt up sentence was “I looked at the horse standing a few feet away, twitching its ears at me.” WC 558. Photo from Pexels.com.

Adventures In Eccentricity

“He claims to be a writer,” I said to my friend as we watched through the kitchen window.

“Mmm hmm.” She said and sipped her tea. “That explains it.”

He dances naked in the rain every so often, but I never bother to report him. He seems so happy, and I honestly couldn’t care one way or the other.

He was arrested once and then back at it the very next day. It was the rainy season, so he had plenty of opportunities.

He was particularly old in years, but obviously young at heart. My friend and I agree that we hope to be so carefree in our later years. We thought that maybe we should take a writing class.

water-rain-raindrops-drops– Written for The Blog Propellant’s On-line Writer’s Guild #11 sentence/phrase prompts: 1. He claims to be a writer. 2. Naked in the rain…3. And then, the very next day…WC 120. Photo from Pexels.com.

Abandoned

I don’t think much of a future. I stopped wondering about the past.

AbandonedFor a moment, the still lake looks deceptively beautiful. I focus in on my reflection; it’s very rare I see myself. A two-headed fish breaks the surface suddenly distorting my observation. I sigh and wonder if I could eat that. My stomach grumbles. I see my frown and hollow eyes in the rippling water.

I hear the bird-like call of the hunting party leader signaling us to reassemble. I wish I had more to show for my day’s efforts.

We gather our kills into the wagon and return to camp. We are still low on food. There are so few things we can safely eat.

I wash myself in the collected rainwater reserve. The natural water sources are sick and may cause death, though I am not sure that what falls from the sky is any better. I boil some to drink and think of my departed family.

Before he went on to the great sky kingdom, my father told me stories passed on to him of fantastic structures, safe water, and food, and transportation machines to reach vast distances in short times. It is all fantasy to me.

Reality is here in front of me. The bleak sky reflects my mood, defeated.

I don’t think much of a future. I stopped wondering about the past. I mostly feel betrayed by my ancestors for destroying the world they left to me. I see the lost potential in what surrounds me but find it hard to imagine making much of it in the short span of life this wasteland now affords us. My present is the future, so few before me cared to consider. They abandoned me long before I was born.

I think this planet will heal itself in time but only after the human parasite has long been gone.

– Written for the May contest at ZeroFlash. Concept prompt was ‘Abandoned Futures,’ along with photo prompt.  WC 300