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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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Darkness Falls

25 Apr

Some of you may have seen that Mauna Kea is in the news lately because of an ongoing attempt by protesters to stop the construction of the Thirty-Meter-Telescope. The issues in question can be found by searching the web carefully, but be careful to research thoroughly as there are many conflicting viewpoints out there. As an employee of one of the existing observatories on the summit, I have been counseled by admin to keep an open mind and be professional in the expression of my opinions. And so I have. This weeks story for Friday Fictioneers is based on my own photo prompt and speaks my mind quite clearly.

It is longer than normal by 58 words and for these I make no apology. I have been spot on for months and will be absent from the mix for some time to come so I hope you will tolerate my overage. If you do not want to read more than 100 words, you’d better stop 68 words ago.

Thanks to all who read on. See you down the road a bit. Aloha, D.

 

Darkness Falls

(Copyright Douglas MacIlroy)

A mob is coming to destroy what might have been their salvation. They listen to reply, not to understand. They want to watch the world burn.

Mauna Kea is sacred. But not for the reasons they claim. The Universe unfolds, light dances eternally and the majesty of Nature gives not a tinker’s damn about man’s gods. The mountain was here long before they arrived, guided, ironically, by their elder’s knowledge of the stars. It will endure long after they are dust.

Mauna Kea is sacred. Unlike the mob, I have learned this through direct experience over five years of glorious sunsets, cold, clear nights and solitary dawns. Cloaked in false pride and righteousness, ignorance is on the march against the inexorable tide of knowledge.

I lock the doors and wait. Someplace has to be the backwater of science and education in the world. It might as well be Hawaii. This will be their legacy.

If you listen carefully you can hear the stars laughing.

 

 

aaaaaaaafondly

To all my followers

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)

Snow Angel

11 Mar

One hundreds words for Friday Fictioneers based on the photo prompt below by Sandra Crook.

 

Frost on a stump. Sandra Crook.

(Copyright Sandra Crook)

On the morning of my sixth birthday they were fighting again.

I took my Flexi-flyer to the estuary and hurled myself down chaotic tilted slabs of tidal floes and out onto the thinner ice of the river, which popped and cracked behind me as I passed.

At day’s end, cold, wet and tired, I felt something soft brush my eyelid. I lay down on the sled and looked up. Flakes the size of quarters spiraled from a featureless gray sky.

As the new snow fell silently with the night I closed my eyes and wondered whether they would miss me.

 

 

angelsnow

Social Darwinism

4 Mar

100 words of apophenia for Friday Fictioneers based on the photo prompt from Erin Leary. Thanks to all who read Dream of the Dragonfly and commented during the preceding week. If I didn’t get to your story please accept my heartfelt apology. Out of 117 stories and I read about 40%. Madison’s baby is turning into a demanding teenager under the patient care of Rochelle. Hide the car keys. I can’t promise I’ll be doing any better, reading-wise, this week, but one thing I will tell you is that if you write a good story, word will get out. Witness the writing of Dr. Tracey of http://whatsfordinnerdoc.com. She’s new but good. Welcome to the party, pal.

Cepheus

(Copyright Erin Leary)

“What do you see?” asked Emily’s court appointed psychiatrist, Dr. Rochelle Fields.

“Stars.”

“You know what most people see when they look at that picture?”

“Mushrooms?”

 

“Did you kill him, Emily?”

“Yes.”

“Do you know why?”

“It was a mercy killing. We’d been married a month when he said he wanted me to share him with another woman.”

“My report will say temporary insanity, Emily. Doing my bit to save the world, one retroactive abortion at a time.”

“Thank you.”

 

“What stars, Emily?”

“The constellation Cepheus.”

“Remarkable.”

CepheusStars

Cepheus

Dream of the Dragonfly

26 Feb

A hundred words for Friday Fictioneers inspired by the photo prompt below.

Railroaded

(Copyright Dawn Landau)

The air above the railbed was still and warm, redolent with creosote and the scent of honeysuckle that grew in wild abandon along the embankments.

Behind him, where his past still lived, burnished steel rails vanished below a thunderhead through which lightning forged erratic pathways, sudden and silent. Ahead of him the rails stretched toward the future and merged with a quicksilver horizon beneath the wide blue sky.

Does the Universe want us happy, he wondered?

A rainbow-hued dragonfly hovered on filigreed wings beside him, then whispered down the tracks in answer, away from the storm and into the light.

(to edit)blue dragonfly

On On Off

28 Jan

100 words for Friday Fictioneers based on the photo prompt supplied by Ted Strutz and selected for this week’s round of stories by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

 

On-on-off

(Copyright Ted Strutz)

The switch positions and the cord wound clockwise said the drop was compromised. The scorch mark told him to burn everything and run. The hole was new and sure to have a camera inside.

<–>

He walked by with measured steps, eyes on the ground. Another wage slave drone headed to a dead-end job. Mindless. Hopeless.

But they were wrong.

He would remove the RFID chip in his forearm and follow protocol for reintegration into the network. Different city. Change of identity. Same goal.

One man’s terrorist. Another man’s freedom fighter.

The victor writes the history books.

There is always hope.

 

 

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Following Seas

22 Jan

I’ve been helping a friend drain a swamp and feel the need to apologize for being behind the curve last week in reading and commenting. Going to fix that now as the swamp is drained and the alligators are all suitcases now.

Mahalo and Aloha, D.

 

100 words for Friday Fictioneers inspired by the photo below from Georgia Koch.

 

boatpilxr_ antiqued

(Copyright Georgia Koch)

 

“I could call the Coast Guard.”

“And tell them what? An old man is going rowing?”

He wondered whether he’d made a mistake in sharing his plans. After half a lifetime spent at sea, this last voyage seemed only natural.

“I won’t have you watch me die a slow death in one of those homes, son.”

“It wouldn’t be like that…”

“It’s always like that. They just don’t put it in the brochure because it’s bad for business.”

Ebb tide. The sea beckoned. Time to go.

“I love you, son.”

“Fair winds, Dad.”

The Dog House

14 Jan

100 words for Friday Fictioneers based on the photo prompt below from Jan Wayne Fields.

 

Dining Room

(Copyright Jan Wayne Fields)

 

“What are you in for?” asked the old-timer.

“Disappointed my wife,” replied the new guy.

“Rough.”

“Failure to live up to expectations, failure to change and failure to be her first choice for a husband.”

“Rough again. How long you in for?”

“Life.”

“Double rough.”

“No, that part’s not that…”

“Rough.”

“I’ve got a roof over my head, some good company and best of all, she’s not talking to me.”

“Good point.”

“What’s your crime, buddy?”

“Humping your mother-in-law’s leg every time she visits.”

“Good boy.”

 

 

 

 

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