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The Sleeper Wakes

30 Nov

100 words to greet the dawn for old time’s sake and my friends at Friday Fictioneers based on a photo below by Jan Wayne Fields.

camping

(Copyright Jan Wayne Fields)

I rise at dawn and stand by the temple bell to give thanks and greet the morning. Gold paints the forest ridges that rise to the mist shrouded summit of Totokoroa. Calls of bell birds ring across the valley. A breeze ruffles the fabric of the tent. I strike the bell softly. It’s deep, resonant note sounds, and joins the music of the day’s beginning.

I make tea and return to bed. The smoky fragrance of Lapsang Souchong causes a figure sleeping there to stir. I whisper in her ear.

“The sun is on the mountain.”

And she smiles.

 

totokoroa-dawn

South by Southwest

16 Sep

 

100 words for Friday Fictioneers based on the photo prompt below courtesy of David Stewart.

South by Southwest

(Copyright David Stewart)

 

The gate swings slowly shut. I look back a final time and see in places my handiwork, all that remains of a quarter century of love, surrendered to weeds.

What did I give? How hard did I strive? Where is my love buried?

Only I will ever know.

Call on God, it is said, but row away from the rocks.

I place a note between the gate and jamb for friends who might wish to find me. In time, it, too, will fall and fade, but such is the way of the world. Vulnerant omnes, ultima necat.

And I row.

 

 

 

Change

antipodes

map

In the Morning You’ll begin to See the Light

26 Aug

100 words for Friday Fictioneers inspired by the photo prompt below from Claire Fuller, she of Our Endless Numbered Days. Though flash fiction ought to have a beginning, middle and an end, my story has an end and a beginning, but no middle. Think of it as a coda to a long and beautiful piece of music and please forgive me my taking liberties with the format.

 

(To all those of you who continue to read my work despite the above, and who have kept the faith with me these past months, thank you, always.)

 

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(Copyright Claire Fuller)

 

 

 

A familiar and catchy tune issued softly from speakers somewhere in the room. Two men stood before a ponderous filing system, deep in conversation.

“The problem’s all inside our heads, it seems to me. The answer’s easy if we take it logically.”

Still, unexpected from such a long-termer. How did he leave?”

Slipped out the back…”

Don’t say it….. Did you see him earlier in the day?”

Briefly. We didn’t discuss much. He dropped off a key.”

What files were taken?”

Solitude, Mystery, Love and Beauty.

Sounds like he has a new plan.”

 

 

 

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“He’s got away from us, Jack.”

“Yes, I think you’re right, Mr. Helpmann. He’s gone.”

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Flying Switch

8 Jul

100 words out of the blue for my fellow travelers in Friday Fictioneers. Nice to see you all again. Don’t comment, as I’m moving fast and may not be able to answer. Just enjoy the ride. I’ll settle soon. Love to you all, D.

 

flying switch

(C0pyright Stephen Baum)

See that light up ahead? Early on in life and for years thereafter I’d have said it was an oncoming train. You get a feel for what your mistakes look like rushing toward you through the gloom.

Once I passed the half century mark I figured out that though I was on the tracks, I was also in charge of the trains. I learned to change their schedules or shunt them onto sidings and in time became a good stationmaster.

Now I know the light is my future.

It’s bright.

It’s the beginning of anything I want.

And it’s about time.

 

 

Ouroborous

 

The Windlass of Time

4 Jun

A hundred words for those who are still left and for those who have gone before, based on the photo prompt below. We walk in the shadows of giants. D-Day. June 6th, 1944.

 

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(Copyright C. Hase)

 

 

A stooped and wizened man stands behind a bench at the end of a pier, supporting himself with both hands as he watches liberty boats ferry passengers to the beach from a cruise ship anchored offshore. Long years have extinguished everything in his life except the fire in his eyes. Through them he sees soldiers in a maelstrom struggling in crimson surf beneath a dull gray sky.

A car backfires and he flinches, then squares his shoulders and turns to walk resolutely inshore, sure that today will be his last. Another day, another turn of the wheel. Maybe tomorrow.

 

 

 

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Qui Tacet Consentiere

27 May

 

100 words for Friday Fictioneers.

Unlike the many creatures we’ve sent, as W.S. Merwin said in For a Coming Extinction, “…to The End.”, I have returned, if only for this week, because the photograph is mine and speaks to me of teeming seas from a time long past…. No need to comment. I love you all. Aloha, D.

 

Silence implies Consent

(Copyright Douglas MacIlroy)

“And they lived in the oceans?” At three years of age, my daughter was just beginning to get an inkling of the world that had gone before her.

“They filled the seas, Pearl. We were once just a distant rumor to them.”

“If there were so many, where did they all go?”

“To feed us, darling.”

“Every one?”

“Some say a few still live in deep canyons where nets can’t reach, but none have been seen for many years.”

“Will they ever come back, Daddy?”

“In time perhaps.”

“When we’re gone?”

 

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He Stands Waiting

9 Apr

A 100 word meditation on migration for Friday Fictioneers based on the photo prompt below from Jennifer Pendergast.

(And an extra twenty-three words as a reminder that though we are not often aware of it, the Universe and all creatures that inhabit it are subject to laws laid down to ancient rhythms at the dawn of time.)  [Do not read if you are prone to information sickness or anything that unnecessarily pushes  the hundred word envelope.]

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

(Copyright Jennifer Pendergast)

 

The arc of the sun sweeps ever lower across the sky and each day grows shorter and colder as the light fades by degrees. At length a deep and insistent voice intones a command that resonates through earth and steel and tiny bones and into the hot-blooded heart of a lone scissor-tailed-flycatcher. It warns of bitter winds, long dark nights and killer frosts to come.

FLY

Until the sun is high in the sky again above green forests and halcyon days are suffused with warm radiance.

FLY

It cannot be ignored.

FLY

Gather your strength. Spread your wings.

Take flight.

 

 

 

Fly(blowup)

Though the mills of God grind slowly;

Yet they grind exceedingly small;

Though with patience He stands waiting,

With exactness grinds He all.

       (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)