Do You Remember?

Written for Haibun Monday – A Little Romance. Don’t we all have those moments we lock away for a rainy day?

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There was no design, or plan. No thought of what might happen. It was just a touch, just an accidental touch.  I reached for a glass, he reached for his, skin touched skin and just then, just for a moment, I knew it wasn’t over.

I can’t remember where we were or even who we were with. I can’t remember the song that was playing or what was in my glass. But I remember the touch.

Too afraid to let go, yet too afraid of what it meant. We didn’t move our hands.

That night we left together.

Over twenty years later I can still feel that touch. I don’t know where you are, or what you’re doing now. But I like to think you feel it too.

 

A moment to feel,

A lifetime to remember,

Some hurts never mend.

 

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Ripples

My 1st attempt at Haibun Monday for dVerse. This weeks prompt uses ‘View of the Church of Saint-Paul-de-Mausole’ by Vincent van Gogh as inspiration.

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Reflected at the water’s edge are all those long forgotten yesterdays. Those fields of green and fertile soil, where we sowed our hopes on fallowed earth.  I can still hear laughter floating on the breeze like a melancholy lullaby sweeping gently across the rooftops and I smell the yards of white linen still billowing in the courtyard, scents of lavender and lemon that tease the noon day sun into surrender.

Until once more the silence comes and I sit awhile and watch.

I dip my fingers in the water and see the ripples widen, see the earth turn cobalt blue and the trees succumb to bronze. I sit and watch the water flow and I wonder where those green fields went, those hopes that never grew. Perhaps a different palette could have changed tomorrow’s view.

Time is a river,

Each life a single ripple,

Paint your palette well.

How Big?

I’m once more attempting Al’s fabulous prompts. I’ve missed a couple of the Haibun Thinking Challenges, but here is this weeks. Haibun is a Japanese literary form that combines one or more paragraphs of your written narrative (prose) with a concentrated (short) poem – the haiku. Hai stands for haiku, bun stands for prose. It’s a great way of getting your creative juices flowing, why don’t you follow the link and have a go. There is a literary prompt or a photo prompt, this week I’ve gone for the photo. I may have gone a bit off slant this week, but I’m still practicing, so please excuse me.

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Mavis’s eyes scanned the water, “Beryl, are you sure that’s him”

“Oh yes, I’d know him anywhere” she replied,

Waves rose out ahead of them, the salty brine of seaweed and fish leaving a taste of something almost forbidden in their mouths. Beryl watched as Mavis traced a thin layer of saliva across her lips. It was almost indecent.

“But you said he was so, so ….” she hesitated not sure how to say it out loud.

“So what?” asked Beryl

“So… mmm…big” she almost whispered.

“OH YES” Beryl’s voice hit a sudden high.

“But it doesn’t seem THAT big to me” said Mavis without moving her eyes from the water.

Beryl reached for her reading glasses in the ruck sack “Well it HAS been a while”

She rubbed the glasses with her hankie and set them in place,

Her mouth opened agape “Oh”

Before adding quickly “Well it is April Mavis, the water must be freezing”

Beryl raised an eyebrow “Huh, huh”

“And you know how the cold can effects things”

“Not that much” said a somewhat deflated Beryl.

The spell was broken as the silver sheen of the dolphin’s hump cut through the swell and disappeared into the grey, blue azure below. Both women turned towards the pier and said in unison,

“Fancy a coffee in Moby Dick’s?”

*

Memory is often,

So much more than we have seen,

Cold affects us all.

 

 

Kissing Toads

I’m once more attempting Al’s fabulous prompts. I’ve missed a couple of the Haibun Thinking Challenges, but here is this weeks. Haibun is a Japanese literary form that combines one or more paragraphs of your written narrative (prose) with a concentrated (short) poem – the haiku. Hai stands for haiku, bun stands for prose. It’s a great way of getting your creative juices flowing, why don’t you follow the link and have a go.

There are two photos provided this week, I’ve chosen the one below. I’m got a bit of an historical thing going on this week, not sure why, but hey a girl’s gotta dream …….

 

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“Find them before daybreak” bellowed the dark figure from his mount.

The thumping sound of hooves grew louder and ever closer. Clara could see the stallion’s nostrils flaring in and out. Foams of saliva congealed at the edges as its teeth bore down on the bit. The rider pulled hard on the reins and a trail of white foam flew across his thigh. He raised a sword high above his head, the metal glistening in the darkness catching the moonlight and shattering it in to a thousand tiny fragments that only seemed to emphasise his savagery.

Clara wrapped the shawl tighter round the two small boys huddled by her knees. Her heart beating so fast and loud in her ears she thought the men would surely hear. Buried beneath the rushes, their feet in the rising water, all three shivered with cold as much as fear. The sound of the dogs moving off through the woods had Clara raising her head above the reeds. She straightened, brushing the damp moss off her dress and stood back from the boys.

“Ok they’ve gone, we need to move quickly” she whispered, all the while her eyes furtively scanning the shores of the river and the forest entrance. The smallest boy, Jonathan, looked up in both awe and apprehension.

“Can’t we go home Clara, I’m cold and I miss my blanket”.

Clara looked down and caught the tears edging his eyes, the ones he was fighting so hard to keep at bay. She smoothed her hand over his forehead moving a loose curl away from his face, and smiled. Perhaps searching for toads in the dead of night wasn’t their best idea after all. She nodded at the two boys, held out her hands and turned towards the house. Papa would be furious; she’d already seen his face when his horse passed them earlier. But she knew he wouldn’t be angry for long. When Mama had told her the story about having to kiss a lot of frogs to meet a prince, Clara thought there was no time like the present and if she started now that she was nine she would find him in no time. Her plan was fool proof, or it would have been without her brothers in tow. She would just have to come back tomorrow night on her own.

 

 Beware of kissing toads,

An innocent kiss can burn,

Love will look for you.

 

Freedom

I’ve been drowning in a sea of real life for the last few weeks and haven’t been able to catch all my usual prompt addictions but Friday has arrived and calm is somewhat restored so here is this weeks Haibun Thinking Challenge. Haibun is a Japanese literary form that combines one or more paragraphs of your written narrative (prose) with a concentrated (short) poem – the haiku. Hai stands for haiku, bun stands for prose. It’s a great way of getting your creative juices flowing, why don’t you follow the link and have a go.

This week’s film prompt is

Golly, did I hear you say you would be free if you could?

Gussy the Goose, Charlotte’s Web (2006)

Watching from the window, her face pressed tightly against the glass, a misty layer of breath trails against the pane. The cool moisture, like ink beneath her skin, as she fuses swirl after swirl with her fingertip, before blowing a little harder widening her canvas. Outside, the rain is still falling; rivulets of water that run down the side of the road and splash almost knee high off the pavement.

She taps at the raindrops from the inside out. She’s calmer now, her breathing steadier, almost normal. All that shouting, the noise, the pain in her head that brought on the blackness. There was no noise now. The stillness was insistent; continual, unyielding, almost suffocating her in darkness. Veiled echoes of blackness swam in her ears. She felt like she was drowning in a sea of shame; a tearful reproach against the blood red stain on the floor behind.

She wrapped her arms around her chest and shivered. A comforting sense of release enveloped her senses. She moved back from the window, stepped over his body and went to the kitchen. Taking out a mug from the cupboard she spooned in a teaspoon of instant coffee and plugged in the kettle. She picked up a damp wash cloth and swiped over some crumbs on the drainer. Her foot hit the pedal bin and she dropped the cloth into it. Spotting an empty can of tomatoes she reminded herself to get another few tins when she went shopping.

She sat  at the table, warming both hands around the mug and studied the body lying prostrate in the lounge. For twenty four years she’d dreamt of this. She’d prayed every night before she went to bed and woke every morning praying God had been listening. This morning she’d finally realised that God had enough on his plate and she’d have to create her own miracle. It was a shame about the knife though. She’d have to get rid of the whole set now. They were sterling silver and razor sharp, could cut through meat like butter. Even toughened old boot leather she thought. Anyway better get on; they’re coming to lay the concrete at 3.00.

 

A woman scorned,

Is a miscalculation,

Death is set in stone.

 

Watching

Here is this weeks attempt at the Haibun Thinking Challenge. Haibun is a Japanese literary form that combines one or more paragraphs of your written narrative (prose) with a concentrated (short) poem – the haiku. Hai stands for haiku, bun stands for prose. It’s a great way of getting your creative juices flowing, why don’t you follow the link and have a go.

There are 2 pictures to use as your prompt, I’ve used the one below –

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A plump wrist reached out, hesitated and then withdrew. Gabrielle thought if he could just touch the notes, catch the music on his fingertips, he would be able to feel it, touch it and keep it forever. He didn’t speak, didn’t make a sound. He didn’t want anything to make the music stop. It reminded him of summertime and sunshine, of hayrides and lemonade. A time before the blackness came, before everything changed.

Micheal was bored. He was cold and tired and he was so hungry his head hurt. He opened his mouth but Gabrielle glared at him and he snapped it shut again. This music was rubbish. He looked back over the balcony at the shapes below, squinting his eyes to focus on the delicate swathes of grey and black that criss-crossed and danced. He flicked his eyes, open – shut – open –shut, fascinated by the kaleidoscope darting back and forth. It made his head hurt more.

At the back of the crowded room the first flicker of flames leapt from the candle to the curtain. Gabrielle and Michael saw the shimmer of red gold snap forward, retreat, and then snap back again; each stroke gaining just a bit more ground. Within seconds the curtain was engulfed, a few seconds more and the flames raged higher. Gabrielle smiled as the music played on. Michael watched entranced.

From out of the flames a cloaked figure rose from the shadows. Black as night and just a encompassing.  Gabrielle and Michael heard the muted cries of the crowd below, their prayers rising higher as the heat grew stronger. The cloaked figure stood majestically in the chaos and fear, slowly raising out its arms.  Gabrielle and Michael were ready. Sucking in a lung full of air they both looked towards the closed doorway and blew. Like the breath of God the swirling mist of air thundered through the flames knocking the oak door cleanly off its hinges, allowing the crowd to escape. The hooded figure turned, dropped to its knees and disappeared.  Death would not feed today.

*

From innocent eyes,

Comes redemption and escape,

Angels watch and wait.

You Are You

Time for another Haibun Thinking Challenge. A weekly writing challenge to create verse, prose and haiku using the prompts provided.  Follow the link, read the others and have a go yourself.

This week I am using the literature prompt –

Today you are you!
That is truer than true!
There is no one alive who is you-er than you!

~ Dr Seuss

 

Holding her hand in his, he teased a faint touch across her palm. A tiny bead of sweat dropped from his forehead  and he wiped it away with his other hand. His heart rate quickened in his chest. Terrified she’d wake, he tried to stay calm. Then the torrent slowed, dissolving into nothing. Casting his eyes back across her face he waited for a flicker, any sign of movement. Nothing. He swallowed.

Raising his hand he brushed his fingertips across her cheek. Molten lava swam beneath his skin and he stilled at the touch. The hairs on his forearm prickled with anticipation and a current of electricity shot straight to his groin.  He lowered his face to hers. The touch of his lips no more than a whisper over her skin. He felt her warm breath like a summer breeze across his cheek. The faintest hint of strawberries, he could almost taste it on his tongue. Her taste was like you, her scent was like you.

She was his reason for rising each morning. The reason his demons stayed buried inside. She was the stars in his empty black sky and the sunrise that made his sins become yesterday’s mistakes. There had been others, many others. He’d moved through the shadows, watching and waiting.  They might have looked like her, had the same colour hair, the same colour eyes, but they didn’t taste like her, they didn’t smell like her. It wasn’t fair to let them live with imperfection. So he’d helped them reach a final blood stained escape.

Her eyes flickered open, slowly adjusting to the sunlight. Without raising her head she turned towards him and smiled. He lowered his mouth capturing her breath with his kiss. Lifting her head he tangled his fingers through her hair, pressing his lips harder onto her own. She matched him stroke for stroke, drowning in the intensity.  He suddenly pulled back catching her eyes with his. She had fallen asleep looking into dazzling blue lagoons. Those same blue eyes were now orbs of black pitch, bottomless and empty. He whispered against her ear, “you are you, not her” as she felt the cold tip of steel slowly slice across her throat.

*

Loving the wrong one,

Brings endless desolation,

Broken hearts don’t lie.