Outside as Inside

“the rarest chords in the soul’s harmonics/ Are found in the minor strains of life.”

-E. Wheeler Wilcox,”Life’s Harmonies”

It started out as a happy song, but I loved the sound of the haunting minor chords too much. Keys tapped out A-minor, and soon there were tears in my eyes.  It’s difficult enough dealing with sexism as it is. It’s much more difficult dealing with it at home, coming from those you love. I traced the cracks on the wall, first gently, then savaging my fingers against the rough edges until they were numb. Outside, the sky was as gray as I was. The open door beckoned, a portal. The edges of my mouth turned up as I flew.

photo by sulaco229 at rgbstock.com

prompt provided by : http://lightandshadechallenge.blogspot.in/

Teacups and Time

As I whirled, colors flew. White, grey, black, so many shades I lost count. Laughing with exhilaration, I hooked falling teacups with my finger, caught them on my elbow, hooped them to a standstill with my tongue, and juggled them with my elbows before tossing them perfectly to the counter where they stacked up, seemingly of their own accord. It was beautiful. There was always time to do what you wanted here. You could be free, as I was. No one to tell you no, no one to steer you by the arm the wrong way. Always the wrong way.

The last time I’d seen him,we’d stood side by side, not touching; looking down on the rapids. It was dark, of course, to make sure we could lie with impunity; when I told him I loved him; probably when he told me he loved me. But we said it just the same. For the elusive security of security. And it worked – that is to say, it did what I wanted it to do. The clock struck the twelve of midnight terrors, but also of the new day. I didn’t know which one was more frightening. Just as we left, I took one last photograph of him, without him seeing. It captured him perfectly, the way I always saw him.

I saw him next the day I first caught teacups. He smiled at me. He smiled at me as I shined the teacups furiously, whispering, “Shining isn’t an art, it’s artifice.” After that day, I stopped cleaning them, I just caught them as they fell. I never catch all of them though. I leave some of them on purpose so he has to come again. I like this. I like this very much. I like him very much. Always did. And now he’ll always be here when I want him.

Picture by Ayla87 on rgbstock.com

I stood on the bridge at midnight as the clocks were striking the hour 

– Longfellow


Light and Shade Challenge 🙂

 

 

After the Tower Scene

Light and Shade Challenge again, yay! This time’s quote is:

She tells enough white lies to ice a wedding cake – Margot Asquith

I had a little fun with this one to make up for last time’s seriousness. Just a little peek into the Capulet balcony after the famous tower scene.


 

“Who’re you talking to, Juliet?”

“No one, Nurse, I was just…reciting poetry.”

“At this late hour?”

“Just practicing for recitation.”

“Recitation? For whom?”

“The, erm, my mother. She wanted to hear me recite.”

“When?”

“…Friday.”

“Mhm. Lovely night, isn’t it? I think I’ll join you for a bit of air.”

“No!”

“No?”

“Yes, I mean, I’d love to have you join me, but there’s a cobweb here. I know you hate spiders. Plus, I think I’m coming down with something….ugh ugh….see? No, wait, don’t – !”

“Hmm, I could’ve sworn…”

“See? Nothing.”

“Hmph. Get inside. And lock up behind you.”

Travel Plans

So this is my first Light and Shade challenge, brought to you by two very enterprising Trifectans, The basic idea is to take the picture and quote provided, and do an entry in under 500 words. The prompts are included below. Here goes!

 

A dream has power to poison sleep 

– Mutability, Percy Bysshe Shelley

 

I paused and turned my head surreptitiously over my shoulder to check whether anyone was following me. Satisfied, I let out my breath before rushing towards the edge of the woods, just behind the outhouse.

He was waiting for me, forehead wrinkled just between his eyebrows, sweat pooling in the little crevice just above his goatee – just as I remembered him. I rushed into his arms. Smiling, he led me over to the old wooden picnic bench.

“How’s Amsterdam?” Gary asked as soon as I’d sat down, his smile touching his eyes. “It’s been so long; I’ve missed you.”

“Amsterdam’s great,” I enthused. “Work’s picking up too. ‘Soon as I put enough by, I booked tickets for home. It feels like forever since I’ve seen my parents and my little sister. And you. How’ve you been?”

“Eh, same as always,” he replied nonchalantly. “How long are you home? No one told me you were coming.”

I grinned despite myself. “I kinda wanted it to be a surprise.”

“Well it worked,” he grinned back. “Hey, listen, I just…,” Gary began. I looked up at him and saw his anxious expression before he continued, “I just wanted to know if you and me….if we’re still…you know…” his voice trailed off, unsure.

“Of course!” I exclaimed. “Why would you -”

“You’re still hiding it from your dad and all – I mean, I can appreciate how hard this is for you, but, it’s been awhile. I need to know we’re on the same page.”

“We are,” I said resolutely. “Tomorrow. I’ll talk to him tomorrow. Him and my mom too.”

“Baby, that’s so great to hear. I was afraid…,” he stopped midsentence, his face solemn. Kneeling down, he took my hands in his and said, “Baby, I love you so much. More than anyone in the world. I want to love you all my life,” he paused, opening a little velvet box. My heart was a million butterflies. “Alexander Murphy, will you marry me?”

My heart leapt into my throat full-force. I’d face my family later. I loved him. “Yes,” I whispered. “Yes, I will.” My eyes welled up.

“No, baby, don’t cry, we’re together now,” he started, but before he could go any further, my lips were on his, and we were kissing passionately, endlessly. And then I heard the gunshot.

I could feel Gary’s hands loosening their hold on mine, yet I couldn’t understand, wouldn’t understand. I spun, stumbling, as if in slow motion and saw my father holding his rifle, eyes filled with something I couldn’t fathom. Minutes later, I felt my father’s fingers prising apart my own and leading me back inside. Half-walking, half-stumbling behind him, I slid a little gold band onto my ring finger.


 

Gasping for breath, I woke up to find myself tangled in sheets, tears streaming from my eyes, the silhouette of a kiss imprinted behind my eyelids.

“Hello, this is Alexander Murphy.  Yes. I would like to cancel my flight tickets. Flight number…”

Shadow of love: Sadow of a couple kissing

Fear

Trifextra: Week Ninety

Katherine Paterson, author of Bridge to Terabithia, wrote, “It’s like the smarter you are, the more things can scare you.”  We are looking for a 33-word explanation of what scares you (or your character).

We sit together, my best friend and I, in comfortable silence.

Then she walks in, my other best friend; suddenly his jokes are only for her.

Et tu?

I know what comes next.

Getting Down and Nerdy

Monday, October 14, 2013

This week we are giving you a page from the Oxford English Dictionary.  The ninety-ninth page, to be exact.  (Click to enlarge.)  From this page, you can choose any word, any definition, to use in your post.  (Please type your chosen word in bold, so we know.)  And instead of our typical 33-333 word limit, we are asking for 99 words exactly.

So, as you will see, I picked the word bacillus, which is on the lower half of page 99. It means, “rod-shaped bacterium.”

xxx

“…lost all my numbers, so can you give me yours again?”

“Sure, just throw me a really good pickup line first.”

“What, here? In microbiology lab?”

“Yup, shoot.”

“Umm, okay,…uh…do you know CPR, bec- ”

“Please. Cliché.”

“Wait, how about………Baby, are you Google? Because you’ve got everything I’m looking for.”

“Closer. Last try. I’m gonna start culturing today’s bacillus sample while you think.”

“Okay. Hey, how about something a little nerdier?”

“Interesting. Try me.”

“How about letting me inoculate your agar with my bacillus? There’s nothing micro about my biology.”

“Get your pen out. Now. Pun intended.”

xxx

Blue Lighter

Monday, September 2, 2013

Trifecta: Week Ninety-Three

GRACE (noun)

1
: unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification
: a virtue coming from God
: a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine grace
2
: approval, favor <stayed in his good graces>
archaic: mercy, pardon
: a special favor : privilege <each in his place, by right, notgrace, shall rule his heritage — Rudyard Kipling>
: disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency
: a temporary exemption : reprieve

I press the edge

Of a lighter,

Ironically blue

Or maybe not.

Flames are blue

At the base,

Then brighten

Near the tip,

Swaying with an

Easy grace,

Learned on its way up,

That I want to transfer to my heart

But it’s too hot.

So I burn jeans instead –

The frayed border

Of a hole at the knee

Because I like to see

Sparks jump.

Not fly –

Jump. Spark.

And then comfortably

Die out,

Leaving the area

A little warmer

Than before.

Blue Lighter

Traffic Jam

Daily Prompt: State of Your Year

July 29, 2013

Write up a mid-year “State of My Year” post.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us NOW.

 

Urgency rising

As drivers loiter

And everyone seems to bar

My path –

Never mind that it’s theirs as well.

I am missing the warmth of my living room

I am missing the comfort of my sofa

I am missing relaxation, fun and

The thrill of speed

All because no one seems to realize

That they’re in my way.

They need to understand that

I have things to do

I have people to meet

I have a life to live

And I need to get on with it

RIGHT NOW

Without: Neruda’s Take and Mine

Daily Prompt: Life After Blogs

July 28, 2013

Your life without a computer: what does it look like?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us WITHOUT.

This might be cheating, but I want to share a piece by Pablo Neruda that encapsulates the soul of what i want to say almost perfectly:

“Don’t go far off, not even for a day,
because I don’t know how to say it – a day is long
and I will be waiting for you, as in
an empty station when the trains are
parked off somewhere else, asleep.

Don’t leave me, even for an hour, because then
the little drops of anguish will all run together,
the smoke that roams looking for a home will drift
into me, choking my lost heart.

Oh, may your silhouette never dissolve
on the beach, may your eyelids never flutter
into the empty distance. Don’t LEAVE me for
a second, my dearest, because in that moment you’ll
have gone so far I’ll wander mazily
over all the earth, asking, will you
come back? Will you leave me here, dying?”

― Pablo Neruda

Without rain,                                                                                                    For gifts.

Drought burns.                                                                                             But a value

Without food, a                                                                                      Leftovers, trials,

Gnawing in the pit                                                                             But self-awareness.

Of stomachs; hunger.                                                                      Agonizing alone time

Without sleep, headaches                                                         But better friends. Peace.

And, without love, depression.                                          Going without means old clothes

Rainy days go from meaning  coffee and classics, to empty bottles and scraps of old letters.

A Tale of Trust and Temperament

Daily Prompt: A to Z

July 27, 2013

Create a short story, piece of memoir, or epic poem that is 26 sentences long, in which the first sentence begins with “A” and each sentence thereafter begins with the next letter of the alphabet.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us ORDERLY.

All along the end was known,

Before it even began.

Cleverness and common sense

Do not preclude ancestral fallacies,

Especially those of the heart.

Fain was he to fall for her

Given her frame,

Her response mirroring his.

Inescapable that there should be one more:

Jilted she felt, and hard done by.

Knowing the way the world works,

Lamented love’s labour lost,

Much hurt by betrayal, unrecognised as

Not of the man, but

Of the woman, friend-supposed.

Perhaps it wasn’t meant to be, but

Quite obviously her long-expressed wishes were

Relegated by the heiress of affection,

Selfishly, to where inconvenient

Truths are banished:

Under the rug.

Verily the turn of events left behind a heart-

Wrenchingly desolate tale of betrayal,

eXcuse of exigency proven enough to obliterate loyalty.

Yesterday serves as a lesson to us

Zest in trust to be wrought with care.