Tag: daily prompt

Dementia

When I wake up I’m 50 and my kids are all at Uni. My parents are dead, I know this. My wife looks different… older. She tells me I’m 73 and my memory’s going. She must be right, my mind feels foggy.

When I wake up I’m 40 and my kids are teenagers, but they don’t look it. They look about my age. And they’ve got kids of their own. They look at me expectantly, but I don’t know them.

When I wake up I’m 25 and I should be at work. I keep trying to go, but they won’t let me.

When I wake up I’m 13 and I ask for my parents. I ask. Nobody answers.

When I wake up I’m 7 and I don’t know where I am.

via Daily Prompt: Foggy

Red

Mum keeps his bedroom door shut.

His pictures are still in the living room. They used to gather dust, but not any more. She must polish them when I’m not looking.

She’s taken his coat off it’s peg and his shoes out of the hall. It’s like he’s just gone out. Or run away, like everyone says. Kids run away all the time. He’ll be back in a few days. Days turn into weeks. Then months.

In the bathroom there’s the piece of evidence that mum clings to.

His red toothbrush still stands next to mine.

He didn’t pack it.

via Daily Prompt: Toothbrush

White Rose

A single white rose grew in a field of daisies.

She knew she was not like the others.

She grew taller than they did

And lacked their happy yellow centre

Her petals were too big.

 

When children came to make flower crowns

From daisies that were so easily chained

They looked but did not pick her,

For they knew she was substandard

Her stem was too thick.

 

A boy ran to catch up with his sister

Dropping a daisy chain near the rose

She watched them wither and realised

Picked daisies never came back 

And so she grew thorns.

via Daily Prompt: Substandard

The Faerie Pools

He came across the Faerie Pools at dusk. The water shimmered and sparkled underneath a fading sun. He sat down on one of the rocks nearby to take a picture and drink a can of beer he’d brought out with him for moments just like this. The water was so clear, unpolluted. Here, away from all of the big city lights he finally understood the meaning of the phrase “fresh air”. He breathed deep.

He watched the sun set slowly behind a mountain and stood up to return to his rented holiday cottage. The toe of his left boot knocked his empty can in to the pool. Ooops. He looked down. It was deeper than he expected. There was no sign of the can. He almost turned to leave when something else caught his eye.

A woman with silvery-blue skin smiled up at him. Her eyes were orange and yellow like the sunset. She was so beautiful. Was she real? She was so still… a statue perhaps? He knelt down to take a better look. She started to laugh. It rose to the surface and escaped in bubbles. It sounded perfect, so warm. She began to swim up towards him and he leaned closer still. It was getting dark, but that didn’t matter to him any more. She was all he wanted. His nose touched the surface.

They found his body the next morning. Nobody could work out what the holiday maker had been doing out so late, there was alcohol in his system but no beer can in sight. All the locals agreed it was a terrible shame and so strange for a man to drown in such a shallow pool of water.

via Daily Prompt: Shallow

 

Hidden Doors

I picked up a book and dusted it off. It smelled just like an old book should. I took it to the counter, swiped my membership card and heard a satisfying beep. There used to be someone who’d stamp books with the return date, but it’s all done electronically now. I don’t mind the new system, it suits me and it suits this place. Nobody who frequents libraries objects to having an element of human interaction removed from their visit. We come here to read, not talk.

I put the book in my rucksack and zipped it up.

It was raining when I stepped outside- not heavy rain, but the kind of light drizzle that you have to squint through to stop it from going in your eyes. The kind of drizzle you can’t really feel on your skin, but that gets your clothes wet inexplicably quickly. A van in the car park reversed towards me. I backed away and took cover in a small alley that ran between the side of the library and a high stone wall.

A gust of wind came from nowhere. A cat was startled from her position on the wall, leapt down and darted past. I turned to watch her run down the alley behind me, to cower beside the library bins, when I saw a door I’d never seen before.

It looked like it had seen better days- it was grubby, weather beaten, and the paint was flaking off in several places. Above it there was a panel of glass with faded gold lettering that spelled, ‘Come, sit down, every mother’s son, and rehearse your parts’.

Was this a part of the library? I’d walked past this place so many times. How had I missed it? What was this mysterious door tucked away behind a library, hidden from sight by a few pungent bins? Where did it lead? And why was it slightly open?

I made my way over to it and pushed on the wood. It didn’t budge. I pushed harder and there was an almighty creak as it scraped against the floor. It opened wide enough for me to slip through.

I found myself standing in a once- grand foyer. My footsteps echoed and I wondered why this place was a secret. A white marble statue of a woman reading a book sat in the middle of a chipped mosaic floor. Behind her rose a staircase that reached a small landing. I started climbing, cautiously at first and then a little quicker until I reached that little landing. I chose the stairs on the right, but it didn’t matter- they both lead to the same place. Another landing, but this time there were a set of double doors in front me.

I hesitated. Surely this would be the point where my luck ran out. Nobody would leave these unlocked too. I pushed. They sprang open with no resistance.

Music filled my ears and I was hit by the smell of freshly made biscuits. Rows of worn and threadbare seats filled with people that looked too vibrant for their surroundings looked out over a stage where performers were beginning to take their places. An usher took my arm. “You’re just in time,” he said and smiled like he had been waiting for me.

He lead me to the only remaining empty seat in the Upper Circle and handed me a red and white striped paper bag filled with biscuits. They were light and sweet and still warm.

The lights dimmed and a performance began on stage unlike any other I have ever seen. For a moment I forgot where I was.

Actors became characters who then became my friends. They sang songs that brought me to tears and a lullaby that relaxed me more than a good night’s sleep ever could. There was fire and thunderstorm on stage that was so realistic I jumped with every crash of thunder. Things moved and people flew with no visible wires attached. A man turned in to a flock of doves before my eyes and a woman vanished from the middle of the stage to appear in one of the boxes seconds later. They battled daemons with flames and flew like angels. The applause when they took their final bow was deafening.

And then the curtain came down and the lights went up and I was alone. The stage was empty, the seats were threadbare and falling apart and my lonesome applause echoed in an empty space.

I ran from the theatre, back down the stairs and in to the Foyer. ‘Our revels now are ended’, the words glinted at me in gold from the back of the door. I pushed it open and stepped outside.

Back in the car park, drenched in sunlight.

And the door was gone.

Via Daily Prompt: Hidden

Silence

They say that silence speaks volumes

Because it fills up a room,

Fills up your lungs

Drowns you

Suffocating.

 

They say that silence speaks volumes

Because the loudest conversations

Are what you don’t say

Can’t say

Deafening.

 

They should speak of silence and vacuums

An empty space, an absence of matter

Filled with things

You don’t mean

Nothing.

 

They should speak of silence and vacuums

Enabling oppressors to seem louder

Because you were absent

Even when

It mattered.

 

via Daily Prompt: Volume

Alloy City

Silver skyscrapers rise towards a titanium sky. Trees made of tin line the streets. Nobody remembers who sculpted them, they are a left over relic from the people who came before. The ones who were not made from metals.

A man in a iron hat and a woman with copper hair walk towards the outskirts of Alloy City. He takes her hand, carefully, because his is made of steel and hers is made of lead. He has packed a picnic in a golden basket. They take it to the top of a bronze hill and eat under a brassy sunset.

via Daily Prompt: Brassy

Stardust

I remember we are stardust

And when I miss him I look up.

I trace his outline in the cosmos.

I wave. He winks.

 

I remember that atoms are reused.

And I breathe deep recycled air

Passed from his lungs to mine

Through time.

 

I remember that time is relative

And although our speeds are different

Our destination is the same.

I will join him.

 

In the Night.

 

via Daily Prompt: Trace

Unmoored

 

When you are with me I am safe. When I am with you I am home. These are our harbours.

We spend so long apart, so long sailing between the two and I have become used to the open ocean.

The sea is changeable.

I get it.

I am too.

I know that your sea legs are weary and long for more stable ground. You want a harbour to drop anchors and build a less transitional home.

I get it.

I love you too.

But I am so used to being unmoored that I can’t make promises. When you are with me I am safe. And when I am with you I am home. But there is whole ocean and she whispers to me; ‘A ship in the harbour is safe. But that’s not what ships are built for.’

 

via Daily Prompt: Unmoored

Breakdown in space

I slammed my fist down on the button again. There was a whirring from deep inside the engine and then a loud, metallic grating noise that sounded like metal teeth grinding against one another.

“Give it up, Saskia, the engine’s knackered.”

I knew the feeling.

“We can’t just sit here and wait, Joel.” I pushed the button again and nothing happened. Joel ignored me and radioed an update on our situation to Ground Control. I looked out at the tiny blue dot that was the home he was radioing too. There was nothing but silence on the other end.

I tried to work out how close we were not the nearest space station. I put out another distress call. Somebody picked it up, but nothing came back.

Our oxygen supply was running low and there was still no word from Earth. The radio crackled infuriatingly every now and then, but there was never any voice on the other end. We conserved our power and our energy as we had been trained to do, but we were really just going through the motions, just sitting in a metal tube waiting to die.

And then there was a knock at the door.

“What the fuck?” Joel sat upright. “No… No it’s can’t be…”

“It’s probably just the metal making noises as the engines are cooling,” I reasoned but then there was another knock and I wasn’t so sure. We went to look out of the porthole together.

A tiny blue creature with three large green eyes floated outside. It stared at us as we stared at it. Then it held up the tool we needed to fix our ship.

Our distress calls had been answered, just not buy our home planet.

via Daily Prompt: Knackered