A Peculiar Memory

There is an odd moment I recall every now and then. A memory that revisits in the hour when the moon untangles her chiffon veil, shadows pooling at her feet. Tonight, it finds me in my failed search for sheep to indulge a silly bedtime routine.

I met a girl whose heart lived in a basket, woven of twine with lilies and thorns; rusted in ruby hues from her bleeding palm. I couldn’t understand how she was alive while her heart throbbed outside of her. And as if she could hear my thoughts, her lips twisted in a peculiar smile and with a silken voice, she told me things weren’t always as they seemed. Almost like a cryptic taunt, mocking my curiosity.

But what perplexes me even more is that I can still hear the jaunty staccato of her heartbeat echoed within my own, as if she is more than just a dream stepping beyond the ivory threshold of the surreal to find me.

Absurd – Weekend Writing Prompt #203

Amy squinted at the mirror, fingers pressed to its cold surface framed in mahogany. Her expression twisted, confused at the empty space that should’ve shown her reflection. Everything else in her bedroom had one, so where was hers? She yelled out as her mother entered her room, gasping when she saw herself…in bed?

But…that’s absurd! I’m standing right here!

…Aren’t I?

I’m a little sad since I broke my writing streak (unintentionally). However, SammiCox’s Weekend Writing Prompts still help me to stay on track.

I rewrote this entry a number of times, but I think this was the best way I could end it for a story in 61 words. I hope you’re all doing well! ✨

Monsters in the Dark

Emma wasn’t scared of the dark. When nightmares separated themselves from the spill of formless shadows crowding the spaces of her room, she didn’t scream nor cocoon herself within the safety of her blankets.

Instead, she watched rotted hands stretch from beneath her bed while ghoulish eyes blinked at her through the slats of her closet, as the chill of a child’s disembodied laughter raked over her ear. But her heart only quavered with an innocent curiosity towards them, to know the world beyond harmless phantasms. And they took her, like countless others, devoured in the mystery of the night.

***

Source: Getty Images

Musical Release

She often missed the sepia-toned days of having a cassette player. There’d been something soothing about listening to a rewinding tape, with the occasional crackle after she’d pressed play with a stubby finger, releasing rhythmic waves of catharsis.

There’d been magic to music then and there was still nothing that could compare, in the way it always knew how to find her through a thrashing deluge or guide her back from a precarious plateau.

It was her only therapy, because it nursed the wounds festering within the secret kerfs of her bones. Because it understood how to deftly untangle her emotions from the burs and knots that often made her lungs snag on a breath.

It gave warmth to her most frigid places and took her mind on a frolic along its glittering staves. And there were moments too, when the music took her hands and led her into a giddy jig down the street. Its phantom lead like the pied piper, with her following after each beat; her giggles drawing curious eyes regarding her with open disapproval. But she didn’t care. All she wanted was to follow the grooving silhouette of quavers and musical notes into the halcyon haven, where there was no pain. Only sweet release.

***

Russian Roulette

She was stuck in the bowels of a nightmare. It was as if her skull splintered open as she jolted awake, choking on the sensation of her heart squeezing down her throat.

She was back where she’d first found herself: in a barely lit room, sitting across from some stranger at a table. Between them was a gun, its apathetic glint offering no explanations or hints as to how she came to be here. With a nameless somebody, playing this never-ending game of Russian Roulette.

She was sure she’d lost a few times, yet her consciousness and memories kept warping back to this moment. Bound within what had to be a time loop with some nuanced variables. She knew this because the number of bullets on the table changed each time she came to. She could barely see through the dense darkness smothering the thin source of light, but she could smell death — taste her own acrid fear.

There’d been no rules. No Jigsaw to break down this puzzling situation. Just her and a nameless stranger. But she understood that the only way out of this loop had to be playing until something changed. What that was, she didn’t know.

Bamboo-thin and ashen hands slowly emerged from the shadows to grip the gun and load a bullet into the revolver. The silhouette shifted. Grating the silence was a quaver of terror as the cylinder spun. She watched the stranger lift the gun to the side of their head with ratted tresses like a barbed crown and squeezed her eyes shut, refusing to see the impending gore.

Click!

A serrated sob of relief echoed as the gun clattered to the table. The sound was oddly familiar, but she couldn’t dwell on that fact. It was her turn.

She licked her lips and drew the pistol to herself, almost unable to lift its weight boring into her palm.

Her fingers felt pricked through with a million needles. The bullet slipped her grasp and almost bounced away to escape her grabbing hand. With a nervous lick of her lips, she loaded the gun — the cylinder almost sounded like a sympathetic hiss. She pressed the muzzle to her temple and flexed her clammy grip.

When she lifted her gaze to the stranger, she gasped at the pallid face finally stripped of shadows, staring back at her in mute shock.

She watched herself pull the trigger.

***

Seashells on the Shore

Bella had started a treasure hunt for seashells, spurred by tales her grandmother had told her when she was a little girl. She’d heard seashells carried the voice of the sea. Dulcet murmurs full of secrets to be understood by keen ears and a quiet mind. But all the seashells she’d collected held barren echoes. A forlorn silence. As if the sea had departed the shells which treasured its heart with a cold goodbye.

***

Vista – Weekend Writing Prompt #200

Saya was paralyzed. Her mother screamed for her, but she could not look away from the towering sapphire waves, devouring the vista that had gifted her so many sunrises.

***

Is it just me or is the word count dwindling even lower? 😅 I hope everyone is having a wonderful Saturday filled with good cheer✨Thanks to the lovely SammiCox for another one!

Microfiction: Untitled #1

Sara’s freshly painted nails glittered with a bashful primness that made her spread her toes and wiggle them — almost too proudly. Her spine ached like rusted joints without grease from being bent over her knees for so long. But the pain was worth it. She hadn’t done anything nice for herself in such a long while, especially something that pulled her memories back to the days spent in her mother’s salon that had always reeked of acetone. And as pungent as that smell had been, it had calmed her then and still did now. Almost as much as the decadent aroma of hot chocolate just before bed.

It was a bit funny, the sort of strange things the mind attached with good feelings. Sometimes she’d even uncap a bottle of nail polish remover and let the scent permeate her bedroom like incense. But that was her own little idiosyncrasy and perhaps she wasn’t the only one like this. After all, the world was made up of so many people whom shared uncanny similarities. It was just that she hadn’t yet found anyone who shared hers — not that she’d tell anyone about it. Because, in retrospect, it was a little embarrassing.

***

No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t think of a title for this story. And this is random but, thank you everyone for reading and sharing my writing journey with me. I think I’m a lot blessed to be followed by so many writers whom I admire. It makes me so happy to be part of the writing community ✨

Breaking Routine

What do you see, through the looking glass? Fingers part threadbare blinds of faded scarlet. Eyes wary of the world spinning on apathetic hums; familiar notes of a known pantomime.

Phantom arachnids crawl over the senses with itching persuasion. What’s the point of going out today? Hang the mask back on the shelf. Pour a bowl of cereal. Let the radio fill the quiet spaces. Today, we won’t hang ourselves on the puppet master’s strings.

***

Photo credit: Avogado6

Element – Weekend Writing Prompt #199

When energies like elements collide, something magical happens. Lightning bolts race down the spine as goosebumps chase the sensation of shivers so intense, it can hardly be contained behind a composed visage. That’s how it always happened in her mind, but perhaps she was being too romantic.

***

A day late for this prompt by SammiCox, because it slipped my mind. But better late than never! And this also helps me to keep up my writing streak. I hope you’re all doing well ✨🌼