Elegant Exit

al_forbes

Empty velvet lined boxes

Stand proudly on shelves

Their rightful occupants

Being awaited for

In vain

 

A lesser life this

Than believed

Far from prying eyes

Too hard to bear

Exquisite pain

 

Behind lush foliage

A mansion stood

Anticipating

A fresh coat of paint

In vain

 

The vintage car

Last to go

Larger than life

No discreet way really

Inevitable shame

The pursuit of dignity

In vain

 

Deeds signed

The ink barely dry

Time to call it a day

Finally

Time to leave town

Might as well leave in style

Head held high

A fitting end to a lifestyle

Vain.

 

[100 words]

Thank you, Al Forbes, for the photograph.

Thank you, Rochelle, for hosting the Friday Fictioneers’ Challenge. Shalom!

To read more entries please click here.

 

Immutable

temple

The streets unfold

I’m lost

In a maze

Of my making

 

In the unfamiliar

 

Tongues make no sense

Raucous static

 

I strive

To hear myself

 

A turn

Pockets of Faith

Concentrated prayer

The aura

Unmistakable

 

This is it

I’m home

In a strange land

 

Guided by You

I do not even question

 

The world is my shrine

I close my eyes

In total surrender

 

My Faith transcends

Everything

 

I learned long ago

No question

You know best

 

l am but a flame

Burning with the intensity of your fire

 

I know You

Have always known You

Myriad lifetimes

 

An ancient shrine

Of a long forgotten mystic

 

At the little chapel

You gazed at me

With so much compassion

My heart almost burst

 

I find You in every idol I see

 

Every stone

chant

song

flower

that blooms

 

In the people I meet

 

I now stand here

Before this shrine

And look up

To You

Yet again

 

You wait for me

All I need to do

Is close my eyes

 

Tuning in

I connect

 

Once again

 

[175 words]

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Singledust. Thank you Gina! Such a beautiful photograph! ❤

Thank you Priceless Joy for the lovely opportunity provided for this week’s writing prompt at  Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers !

Dingy Digs

hotel

Ye olde County Hotel,

Vestigial pride of the city.

No need for reservations.

Who comes here anymore?

 

Dark corridors, damp walls and mouldy furniture.

The door creaks open. A dingy little room.

A lumpy mattress.

 

A television set in the corner blinks to life.

The sound of traffic from the street.

Persistent.

 

A mini refrigerator rattles with a couple of sodas.

A packet of crisps, a carton of cookies and salted peanuts.

The electric kettle hisses steam.

The teabag rests in the mug waiting to become an infusion, exploding into clouds of golden light.

The steady hum of the air conditioner is comforting.

 

The evening palls the horizon.

Everywhere lights are switched on.

Pockets of illumination.

 

I lie on my back, my shoes kicked off.

My head hits the pillow.

I close my eyes.

 

Like Pippa,

on her one single holiday of the year,

I make the most of my shoestring budget.

 

I’m on vacation too.

 

No cocktails, racy fiction, harmless flirtation by the beach; moonlight, starlight, sunrise or sunset; frangipani, marigold and magnolias; canapes, lobster swimming in butter, eclairs; satin sheets, fluffy towels, scented soap.

 

Hello, room service…

I’ll have a cheeseburger.

 

Who are you to judge?

Now scoot!

 

[200 words]

Written for Sunday Photo Fiction. To read more entries click here.

 

 

 

Finally Felled

The walls came up.

Towers shot up.

Brick by brick.

Layer by layer.

 

Witness to slaughter and mutilation,

I stood,

the sickening creak and crash

everywhere

assaulting my spirit.

 

What was worse?

Waiting or watching?

 

Meanwhile, I grew tall and proud.

I shot branches into the blue.

I dug deep with my roots,

anchoring myself firmly

in the black depths of soil.

 

They walked to me with their motor tools

and the whirr heralded my glorious fall.

My turn.

Finally.

 

First my young limbs

fell, with gentle thuds

and a soothing rustle of leaves

like the whoosh of a shroud

as it falls gently,

shielding the body

from prying eyes.

 

Limbless, I waited.

 

Chips flew about

dents carved me.

The saw,

finally,

broke the stature

I so carefully cultivated.

 

I gave up.

Not without some noise though.

 

I fell.

A mighty crash.

The dust rose and blinded the sun.

 

My roots were pulled out

with the ruthless perseverance

and incompetence

of an intern dentist.

 

I bled, a bloodless sap.

Hewn into manageable chunks, I was taken away.

I didn’t look back.

 

A vagrant stump,

a distance away,

stubborn,

resilient,

soon shot

a few green leaves

into the air.

 

Surreptitiously.

 

[200 words]

tree

Thank you PJ for hosting this awesome challenge Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers.

Thank you Shivangi Singh for the photograph!

 

Unbearable

teddy-bears

Is it Sunday already?

Time for laundry.

First the whites.

Colours next.

Four cycles.

One. Two. Three. Four.

Four. Four. Four. Four.

North-South-East-West.

Morning- Afternoon- Evening- Night.

Spring- Summer- Autumn- Winter.

Balance.

Perfection.

Four is the best of all even numbers.

Two is OK too.

But four is satisfying.

Sorting through the clothes I try to make four piles.

There aren’t enough.

Hmmm.

I walk around the house.

Sheets I changed just yesterday.

Cushion covers  I can’t throw in, they have to be hand washed.

Curtains?

No. Not on Sunday.

Curtains are slotted for Wednesday, the middle of the week, for curtains separate tranquility from the bedlam out there.

This room has not been used for years now.

I spot the bears sitting there.

One. Two. Three.

Just so.

I am not happy with three.

I did try.

Everything does not work the way I want it to.

These bears need a spin in the machine.

Now how do I do this?

The big ones go together.

Where do I put the little one?

The little one is always the problem.

Another one would’ve…

Four.

The set would have been perfect.

It’s my fault.

Four would have held everything together.

[200 words]

Sunday Photo Fiction

A Home Truth

​I am in my special place, the couch actually, and close my eyes. 

The lights are dimmed and I slip into a trance.

I am done for this minute, hour, day, week, month, year and even lifetime, maybe, and await further instructions from deep within to attain Samadhi state. A state of Nirvana. Having done all I can, having conquered all impulses, except maybe shopping, I am content to wait for eternal bliss to come my way. After some tea perhaps, or some mind-numbing television even.

At least silence works, for the moment.

The telephone. 

Where’s your mobile? 

I don’t know. 

Voices, trying to get into my head. Actually one voice. A voice that asks questions, answers them and makes observations and gives obvious conclusions, sounding pleased, waiting for accolades at such display of life and enthusiasm.

On steroids? 

Nope. A blithe spirit. A friend. A well-meaning, genuinely caring friend.

A devoted soul, brimming with concern enters the zone with all energy, brimming with cheerfulness that grates on my frayed nerves.

What are you doing?

What is this? Why? How? Where? 

And why are you so quiet? What did I say now? What did I do? Shouldn’t I have called? Shouldn’t you have answered first?

Hmm. Yes. No. Really. For the next ten minutes.

 I reel from the onslaught and ignore it while I can and then – Enough!

As expected, easy tears, the waterworks. The works! The efforts to pile guilt on me. 

GUILT.

I refuse to feel any, for I know I am in MY space, it’s MY time and MY life.

Don’t snap at me! How dare you treat me this way? After all  that I have invested into this relationship!

Oh Hell! That’s not how I remember it. Anyway I don’t think so.

You have not got any returns from this relationship?

 Only  incurred losses?

I’m not going down that road. I know she is itching for an argument now. I hold the receiver a little away from my ear and pace the room, now lit up in harsh lights, the blood rushing to my head.

From my window, I now look at the dog that won’t let go of a bone, worrying it till it cracks into splinters and then looks surprised as to why its mouth is bleeding. It yelps in pain. Some children playing on the street rush to call for help.

So I say- Could you please not think aloud? Resolve the way you feel. It’s not my problem.I am the problem here. So you need to let go. Deal with it. I want to be alone. I want silence. I don’t want to talk about anybody. To anybody. For anybody. Sometimes I just could go through the motions and not disturb the very air around me.

Nothing works out. The assault continues.

So I say, in all exasperation-Would it make things easy if I quit? OK. I quit. Even if it makes me more miserable than I am. Move away? Fine.  Even die? Yay! Why not! 

I will go. Why should you? Anyway, I do so much for you. I am such a good friend. You never think about me. In fact I watch out for you…

Yes, I’m so tired of all this now. Listen! You are the good one here. Miss Congenialty.You are the best. Could you now go spread some sunshine in other lives? Please? And if you have a real problem, you know where to find me. You have millions of friends, a wonderful family even. What can you want from a loser like me? Do you want to finish the job life started? Annihilate me?

Does nothing matter to you?

No.

Don’t people matter? 

No.

Who behaves like this?

I do.

Oh, the times you take ‘U Turns’ and behave so unpredictably. I never know where I am with you!

Yes. The U Turn. It’s called survival.

Don’t be sarcastic! AHHHH! Nothing matters to you!

Well, you see, so much matters. Peace, silence, and solitude matter. I feel stifled with all this attention. You’ve helped me, I am grateful to you. You are a wonderful friend. I get it. I’m eternally grateful. But I never asked you for help. Never. You did it out of the kindness of your heart. Don’t kill me with so much kindness. Find yourself another project to work on, another relationship to invest in. This here is done. You are flogging a dead horse. I have nothing to give. I am Nothing. Let me slip into Nothingness. No, I don’t need anybody to rescue me. I just want out. OUT! It cannot get more specific than that really!

But then, she chooses to think I’m in a bad mood. I know she thinks I am fraught with stress and other problems and I need tender loving care. Lol! Despite the blood pressure shooting up to alarming levels, I cannot suppress a smile. I am glad she cannot see me smile for she’d be really mad!

After what seems an eternity it comes.

I’m sorry. I know you didn’t mean anything bad. 

I know. I didn’t mean anything bad. 

Sob! Then why do you do this?

Hell, woman, haven’t you any sense of space? Any sense of self?

 I am a bad person. A horrible friend. Face it. I can’t be what you want me to be. I will be quiet more times than not. I will look into far away spaces and sit still. I will walk away inexplicably. I will be myself. I will take U turns. I refuse to pretend to be happy and jolly when I am a shattered being trying to make pieces of my self whole again.

And it is all my fault. Please accept this. And, I won’t change. I cannot. 

You don’t mean it!

But, I mean it all.

Every single word.

Specific

Karmic Gears

crook3

 

my life

a certain cycle

karma

a sequence

i haven’t set into motion

already spinning

it pinned me down

gathering

speed and strength

with every thought

word

and action

maybe even silence

and inaction

 

i have one life

this i know

keep

the machinery oiled

iron out

the creases and folds

while i still can

before i become one

with the elements

 

this life

already

a forgone conclusion

 

atonement

for my sins

are visited on

the flesh of my flesh

the blood of my blood

the wheel in my wheel

 

and that cycle

mine own

to stop

this spinning wheel

 

[100 words]

Thank you Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers! Shalom!

Thank you, Sandra Crook , for the photo prompt.

Silent Spaces

piic

Your narrow window to the world

tightly frames your limited thought.

Boxed in, your spirit

is beaten into submission.

Cracks, fissures and fractures

immobilize you.

Rejecting your body,

your soul floats away

seeking vast expanses.

Your breathing, shallow.

No movement,

for any imperceptible tremor

significantly magnifies the pain.

Limp, spent,

reduced to a quivering mess

of bleeding pulp.

You try to get used to it.

 

This life.

 

Try this. Get up. Walk.

Take the roads

that lead you away.

Move

till you reach the open spaces.

One step at a time.

Trek your way till you find a spot,

your private domain.

The wind now whispers in your ears

and the sun blazes on high.

The rock is warm to touch.

Steady, solid rock.

Lean back

and feel the warmth seep into you.

Breathe in.

The air so pure

it hits your lungs.

Your heart explodes.

So much beauty.

Such peace.

Walk away from those confines.

Break those shackles.

Now.

For, after this,

you can never break yourself into bits

to fit that box

again.

[175 words]

 

Thank you, Grant, for the beautiful photograph.

A million thanks to you PJ  for hosting this challenge Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers

Happy New Year! 😀