Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Ding Dong

I dreamt that the doorbell rang. It was very early, I thought, for someone to be ringing. It was still dark. I dreamt that I went to the door and there was a bundle in the porch. It moved. Inside I found a tiny baby. It was not very cute, it's ears stuck out. I took it inside and fed it from a tiny spoon, dripping milk into it's tiny mouth. Later I wrapped it up and took it to the park and pushed it on the swing. It laughed and laughed. Then the alarm woke me …beep …beep …beep

(Contemplating joining the 100 Words project during October in preparation for NaNoWriMo.)

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Dark and Stormy Night

It was a dark and stormy night and the rain came down in torrents washing the heat of the day into the swollen river. The traveller huddled down closer under the rocky overhang that just barely protected him from the worst of the onslaught, drawing his cloak tight around him. He had thought to make the town before nightfall but the downpour had turned the forest path to a quagmire. The man was no longer young but there was still a strength and vigour to his body. Calloused hands and a scar that ran from eyebrow to jaw told the tale of a harsh life but the quiet peace in his eyes said he had not been beaten by it. The cloak had seen better days but the clasp was silver and finely wrought. He travelled light, purposeful, a staff and his sword his only other possessions. He crouched in the rain, neither resentful nor impatient, but merely waiting for it to ease. As he rested his head back against the rock and closed his eyes, resigned to a long wait, violent lightening flashed across the sky and the man started at the sight it illuminated. On the far bank stood a woman, her hair wild and her arms flung out, not welcoming, he knew, but summoning the storm. He watched her as she whipped the wind and rain to a frenzy and roused the thunder to greater peals, and as the storm crashed about them he rose. She was more startling than he had anticipated, and more beautiful. He had known the confrontation would come, had prepared during the long months of the hunt, but now faced with her reality a momentary doubt seized him. Fire flashed suddenly from her fingertips and ignited the trees above the rocks. They burned ferociously in spite of the rain, and he knew that the fire would spread and destroy everything in its path. So much depended on him, and he felt the weight of it as he drew his sword.

(Linking back to Magpie Tales 84)

Monday, 19 September 2011

Who's charming who

The serpent awoke and descended from the high canopy to the deep green undergrowth, luxuriating in the dense heat of the enclosed atmosphere below and then the cool water that dripped from leaves onto his scales. He was drawn by distant sounds, unfamiliar but irresistible, faint but hypnotic. The ground beneath his belly was soft with rotting leaves and it rustled with life. Not hunting, just following the sound he travelled towards the river. He wanted so much to find the source of the music, but instinct still held sway and he was cautious. He slithered stealthily into a tree by the clearing. Below him the naked woman was toying with his kin. Smaller than he, and more foolhardy, they gambolled and writhed around her limbs as she played. The rhythm increased and their bodies became entangled, but she was still waiting. And then she saw him, and struck a long wavering note that vibrated through his very soul. He could no longer resist. Her eyes, black and shining, drew him towards her as she wove her magic music around them both. She held out a hand, pointed to the tree and whispered a single word,

(Linking back to Magpie Tales Number 83, The Snake Charmer)

Sunday, 11 September 2011

the revenant

I was at my usual table when the bell on the cafe door tinkled and I looked up from doing the crossword and saw a young man enter. I took a sip of coffee, and then glanced at him again. He looked vaguely familiar. He ordered tea and joined a girl at a table by the window. There was just the three of us in the place, and the woman behind the counter who served them and then moved about unobtrusively wiping tables and clearing cups. I looked at the couple bent over their drinks, talking quietly but intently about something. His hand stroked casually down her arm, and I felt a chill run through me that made me look away. I tried to go back to reading my paper but merely stared blankly at the page without seeing the words at all. My heart began to thump fiercely as I looked again and realised that I distinctly recognised the girl's skirt, a rust coloured corduroy that should have been just ordinary, but that flooded my mind with memories of all the places I had worn it. I could not really see her face but her hair fell forward and she kept tucking it back behind her ear with a gesture that was achingly familiar. The boy was more lovely than I remembered, dark intense eyes that focused on her when she talked and looked uncertainly elsewhere when he responded. I watched them openly and they talked on, unaware of my gaze. She drank her tea and watched the rain outside. He leaned forward and pressed his face into her neck for a moment and kissed her. I could almost feel the warmth of his breath and with sick dread remembered the moment and what the day was. As he got up to leave I wanted to stop him but I stifled a cry, it made no difference, they could not have heard me. The bell tinkled again with his departure and a minute later she rose to follow. As she turned and put on her coat she looked across as me and smiled, almost in recognition. I smiled back. She left and I sat on, with only my cold coffee and crumpled paper for comfort.

(Linking back to Magpie Tales writing prompt 82. I did not like the picture much so used only the title 'The Revenant', which means 'someone who has returned, especially supposedly from the dead'.)