Someone had strung lights from the trees, making up for the clouds creeping across the moon’s face. They drenched the clearing white, bright enough to illuminate the flakes of bark littering the feast table and the bad icing job on Elizabeth’s cupcakes. ‘There were more of us last year,’ Malvoc commented, hand hovering over a plate of pink wafers. ‘You always say that,’ replied Grot. He was perched, his feet hanging an inch above the ground. ‘It makes no difference, we’re still enough.’
There is a collective misguided assumption, that we know the words. Singing like rusted taps, gargling and spluttering our way to the chorus where enthusiasm trumps experience, and pipes swell and burst so all is noise and furious revelry. The wave of it crests breaks, washes us along to the next line. As real as the misting of our breaths as we sing. The cold is not felt in the thick of it.
Someone says panic attack, adrenaline spike, low, calm, and confident, laying a diagnosis out like a challenge, while I sit here, stumped, all root and no branch to climb up, to escape by, not a spike but a stake pinning me in this place.
Found fuel in my anger and burnt like a star. Bright but bitter. Still, it was beautiful, to be cloaked in fire. A phoenix for you to pluck over and over until ash, then flame, over and over again, and again. Until I ran out, grew volatile, beyond control. Singed you, a little. Realised fear, on your face when I broke past your expectations. Learnt burning eats you, from the inside out. Word of the Day: Fire
Keep your balance and your wits grasped tight. Knot them between your fingers like purse straps when the street empties to darkness and even the lamplight does little to chase away shadows. There’s no rescuing dignity if you spill, heels caught in the rickets of this ladder we’ve built from the bones of those who wept behind closed doors. Emotion would prove them woman and that was weakness, still is in the eyes of some. So the weak gift their spines and prayers, hollow themselves into armour for the next generation, and the one after that, in a desperation that they will be the drop that tips the scales to even.
I was born in a house with an unlocked door, had to teach myself to turn the key at night and then in the day to keep the warnings on the other side of this slate of wood, varnished to look like an invitation. For the Thursday Photo Prompt: Invitation
I gathered the stones myself, stacked them before you like a temple offering, my skin the sacrifice as I bared it inch by inch and asked for a blessing you denied me until the pile was fragments and my flesh peppered with your approval.
My sister and I are taking about family and afterwards I write about Wonderland. The way in which it frightened me as a child when Alice falls, and fall, and falls, and falls, and all the while the world is whirling upwards, downwards, outwards in patterns whorled inside each other like carnivorous flowers, too consumed with consuming each other to notice she is screaming. Someone asks me if I’m mad, without asking that specifically, because you know, that would be unkind. I tell her I’m not delusional. Reassure her, don’t mention again the shadows I keep seeing out of the corners of my eyes, my white rabbits flitting out of sight each time I turn. Put it down to an over active imagination. Tell myself the same. Spring plays peek-a-boo, the white rabbit’s ears twitch twice, I am clinging on.
The settee springs had burst through the cushion and what little stuffing there had been was gone. The remaining fabric sagged or clung to the rusted springs, much like the building around it, and the skeletons beyond it. Eddie gripped one of the springs near the base and tested it. He sneezed as the cloth attached crumbled to dust. The coil snapped free of its anchor, surprising him and opening a line of crimson across his other hand. He cursed and pressed the cut to his mouth. The taste made him gag, as if the pollution in the atmosphere had changed even his blood. He tore a strip from his sleeve and used his teeth to tighten a knot in the bandage. It would have to do, much like everything else he had done for the past six days. Desperation was a great provider of inspiration he had discovered, but he didn’t hold much hope that it would see him through. Asides from the settee there was no other furniture in the room he’d settled …
Placed you up, out of reach, where you could be loved like an object. Perfect. Worshipped your tears and howls, as you begged for freedom.