Forage – Weekend Writing Prompt #204

In the spring of April

On a Sunday afternoon

Bathed in petrichor

After the clouds had emptied themselves

In the wordless language

Of souls blooming

In a timeless forage

To find belonging

The world seemed perfect

Resplendently refreshed

In the golden flush

Of the sun after the rain

And she soaked in the moment

Reclined in a rocking chair

Frail hands wrapped

Around a warm cup of cocoa

While the orphan boy

She had often fed

Told her of his new home

I really like the keyword for this weekend’s prompt and this is how the words flowed for me. Thanks SammiCox and happy Sunday everyone.✨

Open Wounds

Chipped fingernails
Polished in coats of blue
Hooked under healing scabs
Picking wounds
Better left alone
Until the protective layers
Fall away
Reopening trauma;
The night his gentle hands
Morphed into a beast’s
Full of primal rage
Crudely choking her trust
Frissons of palpable terror
Left behind
And as if nothing had happened
The morning after
His kisses erased her fear
Cushioning her pain
In velvety petals
The color of her bruises
That he paid a pretty penny for
And all she could do
Was pluck at the memories
Fingers pierced on its barbs
Tearing open the scabs;
Destructive habits
That left her
In a perpetual state
Of hating her scars
And herself

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.

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

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.

***

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!

Whispers of Serenity

In the quiet of eventide, while he read and she wrote, the flutter of pages would fill their bedroom. Like the soft vibrations in a bird’s wings, catching the wind’s breath in its feathers. The scratches of her pen seemed to murmur in answer of her pensive mumblings. Sounds that often followed him to the dells beyond consciousness.

Sometimes he would peek at her from the top of his book. Her hunched figure at the desk, protecting her writing as if it were some treasure. She had never allowed him to read from her book that always seemed ready to burst from all the notes wedged between its pages, until it appeared an odd and pregnant thing.

But the writings she did allow him to see, were often scattered like lucky coins throughout their apartment. Neatly folded pieces of her heart that he tucked within his wallet, until the leather bulged with every collected charm.

And on the days when he could not be with her, he would untuck each slip of paper to hear the flutters of her heartbeat; the echoes of serenity she’d given him.

***

Kitsch – Weekend Writing Prompt #198

It seemed Granger’s Avenue attracted all sorts. Crazies. Magicians. Higglers. Sometimes even wandering clusters of orphaned kids. But strangest of them all was the dollmaker. An old man who left his kitsch creations on the gates of each house. Cracked, wooden caricatures that were sloppily painted with garish faces. Most cursed him as an evil omen, but each family that quietly thanked him were met with a gracious fortune.

***

Thanks to SammiCox again for a great word challenge. I’ve never used the word kitsch before; it sounds so fancy in spite its meaning 😅

I hope you were all able to have a fantastic Saturday 🌼

Beautiful Eyes

He appeared to her through thin feathers of smoke from her lips. She would have ignored him, but her gaze had already, unwittingly, acknowledged his presence.

Over the soft jazz playing from the speakers in the bar, he asked if he could join her. Without much of an answer, shoulders lifted in a casual shrug, she watched him take the stool next to her – his expression one of unabashed relief to have company.

She stubbed out her cigarette in a metal ashtray while he stuck a hand out, signaling the bartender whom sidled over with a broad smile as he inquired what they’d have to drink.

Without asking her what she wanted, he ordered two glasses of rum and coke. He caught the way she blinked, lips pressed together in wordless intrigue, and sheepishly admitted he didn’t have the guts for the harder stuff. He was sure he caught the first glimpses of a smile through her nonchalance.

They clinked their glasses together and his curiosities about her were met with a demure vagueness.  Most women didn’t often waltz into bars alone, unless in search of carnal indulgence. But she was only here for the music and ambience. That was all she gave him, which he didn’t mind. He liked the types that weren’t so easy to figure out.  

When she said nothing more, he offered his first name as a gesture of familiarity. But as her eyes pulled him within its russet rippling, he gave her more than just his name.

He told her of his job as an accountant and how things had started falling apart since his divorce from his wife. How she was fighting him for full-custody of their kids. Jamie and Alex; a twin boy and girl. He pulled their picture from his wallet and she could almost see where his thumbprint had engraved affectionate traces over their sweet faces.

His eyes smoked over with emotion and she touched his arm, cutting in gently to ask if he’d like to go somewhere else. Without his lips shaping the obvious answer, she saw his willingness in the smooth lick of his lips.

He followed her from the bar, apologizing that he didn’t have a car. She waved aside his apology, spinning her own car key around her index finger as she winked at him and led him to her vehicle parked on the side of the road where the streetlight flickered. 

Her home bore her reflection. Alluring in its simplicity and odd mystery. She didn’t have much furniture and unlike his home, strewn with hints of his family life, her only interest was hung in frames of abstract art.

In her bedroom, she offered him a can of beer and they talked for a bit more until she finally seduced him with a deep kiss and climbed atop him.

He was in the throes of orgasm when he tasted blood in his mouth, eyes flashing open to see her smiling through splashes of scarlet. He grabbed at the gashed flesh of his throat, desperate to stop the bleeding. Choked on confusion and fear. And all she did was lean down, small breasts pressed to his chest as she cooed that everything was okay. She kissed the corner of his mouth then pressed her lips to his eyes.

Such beautiful eyes of verdant sorrow that were now all hers.

***

The Roper’s House

The last house on Elmers Road was like a hideous scab that wouldn’t go away. But for whatever reason, it was a hoarded relic attracting intrigue and scorn. Weathered strips of yellow tape still hung around the property with its unkempt hem of browning foliage. Five years ago, Mr. Roper had slaughtered his family within those brick walls before slotting the shotgun between his teeth.

Adriana had been at school the day it happened. She’d returned home to chaotic flashes of red and blue, screeching sirens and the banshee wails of neighbors. Her mother had rushed her upstairs with an urgent instruction not to leave her room. From her window, she had watched wildfires of grief and shock rage below; had felt panic flood her chest and mouth with a metallic bitterness.

But time had boxed away the nausea associated with those memories and now, her gaze lingered on the looming scar that wouldn’t allow any of them to forget what had happened. Back then, she’d thought the house was beautiful and pristine, its walls colored in a deep, eternal blush. And the flowerpots lining the porch had always blossomed with such lovely flowers. The two upper windows, too, had seemed like smiling eyes.

She craned her neck to look at the twin frames of glass now; they didn’t gleam with transparent pride — caked over in years of dust.

Adriana had heard several rumors about the Ropers since then. Of the boring sort. How Mr. Roper had been involved in the occult. That the family had partaken in blood rituals. That malevolent spirits roamed the empty halls. But there was no suffocating tension she could feel, standing this close to the house.

Without thinking, Adriana had already covered the weedy walkway to the Roper’s porch. She glanced over her shoulder, saw her house roof eyeing her from a block away. It wouldn’t hurt to take a look inside, after all this time. No-one could hurt her and it was still only a little after five in the afternoon.

The door winked at her and with the toe of her boot, she pushed it open further. She looked over her shoulder again. The wind ambled the empty street. She slipped inside and looked around the hallway, cast in a dim shadow, almost emptied of all its furniture.

A low and heavy breath whispered from her lips, gaze swinging from one side of the corridor to the next as she walked further into the house. Now the silence was unsettling. There was a family portrait on the wall leading to the kitchen and she stopped in front of it. Mr. and Mrs. Roper were standing with their twin girls between them, relaxed smiles on their faces. A normal family, as far as the picture told, but there were always secrets tucked in the seam of every smile.

She walked around the corner and stopped dead in her tracks when she caught the shift of something from the corner of her eye. Like a blurred motion she caught the tail-end of. There was nowhere the figure could have gone, except inside the kitchen wall. And Adriana was sure she wasn’t seeing things.

She licked her lips and took a breath. Probably it was just in her head. An uneasy bout of paranoia that she shook off with another deep sigh. It was better to go home now. She turned to retrace her steps. A scream exploded from her throat as a monstrous figure barreled towards her. The front door slammed shut.

There was no-one on the street. Just the wind and the fading glow of sunlight on Elmers Road.

***