Broken

Brown Shell Egg and Silver Hand Whisk

I felt the break deep within me. Only back then I didn’t really understand it. Now though, older and wiser, I’ve many things to liken it to. Take this egg for example. It’s whole but once suddenly dropped it breaks into pieces and reveals what’s inside. Granted the egg is not alive and can’t display nothing of what has happen to it. Imagine if that egg was a child though.

That was how I felt with Ocean died. We were whole, we were one, we were mirror images of each other. Ocean and Haven, Haven and Ocean, sea and harbour, together forever.

It’s twenty years ago today. We were eight years old and troublemakers, but in the nicest of ways. A storm had hit our seaside village. The wind and rain had been raging all day and I remember seeing and hearing the sea look so wild and scary. I don’t think I cried, but I made my fear plain enough. I recall Ocean saying she wouldn’t leave me as she put a comforting arm around me.

We shared a room that had two single beds in it, but that night we settled into one. I think it might have been mine. It didn’t matter anyway as both beds were either side of the window. Ocean and I had often shared a bed, seeking the comfort and warmth of each other.

I had to go the bathroom. I remember that so clearly. Getting out of the bed, I left Ocean sleeping, thinking I’d be back soon. There was a massive crash and the sound of glass breaking. Everything shook around me and I fall to the floor. Things were rattling and all I could hear was the storm roaring in my ears.

They said it had been a freak accident. The tree had fallen into the house and taken half of it down. They said it would have killed us both, but for the fact that the bathroom was on the other side of the hallway.  I hardly remember it, but for the image of the house torn in two and the fact that the other back seat in the car next to me was empty.

I asked after her often, ‘where is Ocean, ma?’ ‘When is Ocean coming back, da?’ ‘I miss Ocean.’ Of course, I knew the child version of death, but to me Ocean had said we’d always be together and that surely meant she was going to come back. Didn’t it?

My new bedroom only had a one bed and actually thinking about it from then on there was only one of everything. For ages, my parents let me set out another place at the table, buy two teddies or dolls or toys and doubled the presents at Christmas.

The years passed and passed, but I’ve never felt the same since that night. It’s always seems like a piece of me is missing and no matter what I do I can’t find it.

I’m broken.

Thief

Squirrel Eating Acorn

George looked out of his window, ready to admire the birds flocking into his garden. A twitching of a tail caught his attention and he saw a red squirrel. The little fiend was scampering along the branches towards the cage of peanuts.

George tapped on the glass, cursing loudly. The squirrel stopped, watching him with beady black eyes then with a tail flick, the creature attacked the wired bird feeder. The squirrel snatched a nut into his mouth and before George could open the back door, had vanished into the tree top.

Cold wind, blew into his face and George felt the chill setting into his knees. He yelled loudly, but of course it was too late, the thief had gotten away again.

Unfinished

Red and White House Near Green Tree Photo

Kez didn’t like the unfinished and abandoned house at the end of the lane. Yet, it haunted him. There was just something about all the stories that surrounded the house and the way it looked rotting away. Even though it was unassuming, there something totally off putting about it. Maybe it was the torn up grassy front garden, the half boarded up windows, the open doorway that looked like a dead mouth…

Whenever he went passed it, Kez would always stop. He would peer over and through the overgrown hedges and bushes to look at the mysterious house. Today though, he felt there was something different the place. He looked into the garden and saw the rotting house. The roof tiles hadn’t fared well in last night’s storm and some were broken on the ground. He saw a flicker of movement and looked closely. Was that a person hiding at the side of the house?

Whatever it was moved and began to take more of a form. It took Kez a few seconds, but then he realised it was a donkey. The brown and white animal plodded across the grass and came to stand before the abandoned house’s doorway. Kez frowned, how had a donkey gotten in there?

Maybe, he thought, it had escaped from a nearby field? The house was boarded on three sides by farmland and it would have been easy for a donkey to push through the hedgerows to get in. And now it’s trapped in there, Kez trailed off the line of thought. He watched the donkey for a few more seconds then left the animal nipping at an over turned grass clump.

Someone would come to get it soon, Kez thought as he walked away.

 

Prompt inspired by:

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/unfinished/”>Unfinished</a&gt;

Autumn Blues

sunday-1358907_1920

Summer had only just gone and Autumn had arrived via stormy weather in the night. Sammy got up and out of bed to see this. Seeking out a warm jumper and a cotton skirt with thick tights from her wardrobe, she dressed. Then with longing looked back at her still warm bed.

Fighting the urge to crawl back in, she went into the her flat’s tiny kitchen. The rain tapped against the window as she ate breakfast with the dull voice of the news reporter filling the living room. A loud meowing made her turn her head and there was Boris at the window.

‘You can’t go out. You don’t like the rain,’ she reminded the black cat as if he was a child.

Still Boris sat by the window yowling, till she got up and let him out. He walked into the empty flower window box then came back in, shaking water from his coat and leaving little brown paw prints on the windowsill.

Sammy sighed as Boris looked at her is if it was all her fault he was now cold, wet and muddy. Muttering under her breath, Sammy gathered her things and left. It was windier then it had seemed and she was almost swept back into the door of her apartment block. Hurrying to the bus stop, she prayed that the bus wasn’t late.

Walking Away

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She walked away from him and it was as simple as that to leave it all behind. She felt better, like a wild bird that been trapped in a cage but was now free. The control was all her own again and she could live as she wanted, not as he had made her believe she should. She told her friends it was better to be alone then in a relationship where you couldn’t be yourself and you fell into being a lie.

So what if her road was now lonely? Wasn’t it better to be like that then to find that you had no life at all? Her purpose shouldn’t have to be to please others or to be the perfect girlfriend. The purpose should be what she wanted and why should she care if other people judged her? She was living how she wanted to now and was a lot more happier.

The Season of Change

autumn, fall, forest

The colorful leaves fall from the trees, dancing to the ground.

I walk through them, admiring the feel of the misty morning on my skin.

Though, it’s just a vision of what once was long ago before the finally war.

 

The Last Humans

trees, broken, inside

The humans glanced out of the cage as the aliens passed. Unlike the Earth zoos in which the animals had been behind metal and glass, the last humans were behind an almost clear force field. Nor where they roaming though fields and trees, they had ‘mock’ houses and large gardens styled on what was known to be how the last earthlings lived in.

There were twelve of them all together. An old woman, who would smile and wave at the aliens from a rocking chair. Three children who would play in the gardens and staring questionably back. A baby, who was a fascinated by all, but not when he was crying. The rest were young and middle-aged men and women who lived a quiet life which to them was all they had ever known.

The humans were given enrichment and the aliens watched them in wonder. The children were given toys – stuffed fabric in animal shapes, puzzle games and wooden blocks. The adults were given art supplies, cooking equipment and exercise machines. The keepers wanted them to live as naturally as possible and enjoyed researching old earth pass times.

Today, the last humans had received a mixture of instruments and music players. The adults showed little interested, but the children enjoyed ringing the bells and blowing the trumpets. Finally though, the oldest man took up a guitar and began playing it. The others gathered around and soon form their own band.

The aliens were delighted. Humans were deeply mysterious after all.

 

Beacon

beacon

They had been travelling for two years when the wood elf spotted one of the last beacons. He dismounted from his bay horse and on long legs ran up the hill. The adventuring party watched him go, wondering what he had seen before realising themselves. Three of them dismounted from their horses; the two human fighters and the half-elf wizard. Whilst the dwarf healer and halfling thief stayed on their stout ponies.

The elf came to a stop before the burnt ruins. He nudged an untouched wooden plank with his deer hide boots, flipping it over and staring at it. His hand rested on the  jewelled pommel of his magic sword, ready for a possible ambush. He could hear the wind howling through the long moor grass and the small valleys of the hills.

His companions came to join him, but he ignored their whispers for something had caught his sharp eyes. On another hill, higher then this one and a good few miles away he could see another beacon raising. It appeared unlit. He frowned and looked farther around, but he could see nothing other then the moors and the coming storm clouds.

‘Can you see the other beacon? Is that it?’ the half-elf asked at his side.

‘I think so,’ the elf replied.

The two men came to stand beside them and the elf saw they had drawn their swords.

‘What’s going on?’ a voice yelled up to them.

‘It is definitely one of  Abacros beacons,’ one of the men yelled back.

The elf heard the dwarf and halfling dismount and trudge up the hill. the rest of the party began moving around again. Their boots crunching on burnt wood and dry grass. The elf kept his eyes firmly fixed on the other beacon in the distance. Something didn’t feel right. The more he looked the more his eyes confirmed that the wood had not been lit.

That would explain it, he thought, if the chain had been broken, the city of Abacros had been doomed from the start. 

‘This is beacon forty-two,’ the half-elf announced.

‘We have to go over there,’ the elf cut in.

He turned and saw his companions gathered around a tatty map and a large rock. Without saying anything else, the elf went down the hill and back to the horses. He mounted his bay mare and headed in the direction of the other beacon. Disgruntled words tickled his ears, but the growing wind swept them away.

He glanced up at the sky and saw the storm clouds were rolling in fast. This was really not the place to be caught in bad weather. He urged his horse on, knowing the others had joined him. However, the soft, sinking ground was hard going and it took awhile to reach the tall hill. The rain had started falling as the elf dropped from the saddle and walked to the beacon.

The pile of wood towered above him. It was built in a large square with a cone at the top. His eyes had not lied. The thing had never been lit. He looked down and saw something in the grass. Poking it with the toe of his boot, he saw it was a dirt covered dagger. Just above it and still reaching out for the blade was a dead hand.

‘He’s been here years,’ the voice of the dwarf rumbled, ‘crude arrows Outlanders, maybe.

‘So the guards were attacked then?’ the first man said whilst the other just shook his head.

‘That would explain it,’ the elf answered, ‘and after all these years we now know what happened. The guards were slay before they could lit the beacon. The line was broken and that’s why help was too late.’

‘And Abacros fell,’ the halfling whispered.

Thunder rumbled, drawing their attention away. The horses whined, a few stamped their feet and shook there heads. The elf took a last look around and knew they should be on their way. At last they had an answer for the king.

 

Photo prompt from; https://scvincent.com/2016/09/22/thursday-photo-prompt-beacon-writephoto/

Soup

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It was days like today that when she got home, she heated up soup from a tin and sat down with it in the conservatory to read a book and listen to the rain falling.

Jump

Person Standing on a Brown Wood Log Floating on a Body of Water

Looking into the clear water, I avoided her eyes as her announcement hung in the air. A group of small fish passed by, battling the strong river current. I faked interested in them to give me time to think hard, which I then couldn’t do. Her words were totally unexpected and heavily weighted.

I wanted to ask her so many questions; why? How? Who?

But nothing would form. It was if the English language had left me completely and I was a dumb foreigner in a new country. The fish passed by, going wherever they were heading to up river. Gentle waves lapped at the soil banks and around the posts of the old wooden bridge. I saw a clump of grass and a long twisted stick pass by. It all seemed so normal.

‘Rory,’ she whispered my name like a ghost on the wind.

I didn’t turn to her, I couldn’t.

‘I’m sorry,’ she added as if that would make it any better.

A breeze shook the just turning autumn leaves of the surrounding forest trees. A few leaves came loose and fluttered down into the water. They landed lightly, causing only a few small ripples, then the river carried them away.

And still, I couldn’t face her or the truth of her words. It felt like this was happening to someone else. A different version of me that was here at another time. I hope that Rory acted better.

I heard her stand up. The rustle of clothes, the jiggling of her backpack. All I could think about was this was why she had brought me here, to tell me that. She knew it would be easier out here whilst I was captivated by the magic of the forest instead of inside a cafe or a house. She could slip away perfectly now, vanish into the pines and the hollows without worrying I’d chase after her.

She sighed and lingered for a few moments. I just knew she was waiting for me to say something. What did she want? For me to beg like a dog? Plead that if she took the words back I’d promise my eternal love like some Greek hero? Perhaps, she had known all the long that this would happen. That the weight of her words would sink me like the stones we had sometimes thrown into the river.

My silence stretched. I heard her light footsteps moving away then she paused again and I think she almost wanted to say something to me. Even if I’d wanted to look at her, I couldn’t move my head and perhaps if I had it might have changed things. Or maybe, it wouldn’t have made a difference.

She left me watching the flowing water and thinking about jumping in.