She Wept

The sun pressed against the distant horizon in a passionate goodnight kiss.  The sky leaned in close and then flushed an orange that deepened to purple, in embarrassment, as it was caught snooping.  Turning its back on the embrace, the sky darkened to black as the sun released its hold on the world and disappeared.  The ground quickly chilled from loneliness.  It missed the sun’s love.

From her perch high in the mountains she saw out the day’s end, just has she had for the previous week, and she wept.  The fat tears rolled over the ridges of her cheek and dripped from the valley of her chin.  She let them fall unimpeded.  After the second day she hardly noticed them anyway and the darkness swallowed them whether she tried to stop them or not.  She shivered as the cold seeped up from the ground to latch onto her feet.

Infinite moments passed before the trillion eyes opened, slowly, at first, in ones and twos that then cascaded into a landslide of twinkling curiosity, to spy unashamed on the earth below.  The stars laughed and smiled at the antics of the people below, who were ignorant of the truths of life despite the emphasis they placed on the lives they lead.  The ground, grown cranky in the absence of its love, was less amused while it forcefully suffered the abuse of their pride.  It bore the burden of their trespassing in the day as well, but did so more amicably under the watchful gaze of the sun.

Cradled between a sturdy limb and the strong trunk of the tallest tree, she sensed the ground’s agony and she wept.  She had broken free of her ice shackles to climb where she might catch one last glimpse of the day, but she had been too slow and had missed all but the gathering turmoil.  It was not her duty to judge the pain dealt and received, that responsibility was another’s, but she couldn’t help the roll of emotions that thundered through her as it crashed up from the ground.  It was beauty and pain in equal measure, and more than she could withstand stoically.

The night reached for her and she reached back, giving herself to the air in a leap of trust and longing.  She felt the night carefully envelop her and she closed her eyes to the meandering shadows of the world.  She felt loss.  She felt free.  She felt the chill of a thousand supernovae and the burning fire of the only love she had ever known to be true.  The sky took her in and urged her to set aside her pain and weariness, but asked for everything else as well.  She was tempted, and she wept.

Just as she had every night before, she opened her eyes and banished her impatience with a scream that quieted the creaking of the earth.  Just like the ground waited for the return of its love, she too could wait.  The eternal nothingness howled in rage at having nearly claimed her, and, letting her call fade from her lips, she sighed in relief.  Her grief was great, but it was not so great she would relinquish beauty and inspiration and love just to be rid of it.  Sunrise whispered its promise from the other side of the world and her heart swelled with hope.

And, she wept.

I cry very easily. It can be a movie, a phone conversation,a sunset--tears are words waiting to be written.: Omar Gordillo, Teardrop, Art Sketch, Cry Eye, Amazing Sketch, Art Drawings, Pencil Drawings, Drawings Eye, Tear Drop
Image Credit: Omar Gordillo Sorto

bizarre love triangle

https://i1.wp.com/ak2.picdn.net/shutterstock/videos/2186191/preview/stock-footage-sunrise-through-dark-clouds-time-lapse-a-smoldering-orange-sun-rises-through-clouds-swirling.jpg
(Image Credit: shutterstock)

The heavens dressed in layered clouds and the earth applied comforting fog to smooth away its imperfections.  They postured to look their best while awaiting the arrival of their daily courtier.  The sun blew them soft orange kisses from the horizon that promised more.  The heavens let the clouds slip a little, showing a hint of blushing blue beneath.  The earth quickly wiped away the fog to show off its valley and mountain curves.

There were no winners in the battle for affection.  The sun graced heaven and earth equally for those few brief hours it spent with them.  The heavens shone radiantly as the light bounced through the water droplet jeweled gown.  The earth warmed, confidence building, under the sun’s gaze.  And then, all too soon, their beloved was blowing purple farewell kisses from the opposite horizon.

https://i0.wp.com/photos.capturemyvermont.com/photos/vfro9QNifNr0jHHCbTx-zQ/showcase.jpg
(Image Credit: Eli Adams)

Exhausted, but undeterred, the heavens and earth began their preparations for the next day’s courting while catching fits of rest as they could.  The distant stars watched the daily cycle and laughed in winks and blinks at the humorous futility of it all.  The heavens and earth ignored the stars, they understood the situation better than they let on, but, as is often the case when it comes to love, they were powerless to change anything about it.

save point

They had created a written language all their own to hide messages from prying eyes.  They had a hangout they routinely gathered at to discuss ideas and formulate plots.  They had strict membership requirements to make sure that only the best candidates could join their ranks.  But, for a secret organization, as they styled themselves, they weren’t very secretive or organized.

Frank and Charles bummed rides from their parents and they met in John’s parents’ basement.  Their meetings rarely stayed on topic.  They had yet to agree upon a course of action or attempt a single coup.  Usually they ended up just watching movies and playing video games, their master plans for world domination left strewn across the top of their workbench, which every other night of the week doubled as a washing machine.

Everyone at school knew about their club, too.  The three members thought that because no one had approached with any interest of joining that meant they had managed to keep their existence somewhat quiet.  The truth, however, was that none of the other students wanted anything to do with their madness.  Frank, Charles, and John would have been find with that if they had known.  They’d have liked being thought of as mad.

They were mad.  Mad with a world spiraling out of control.  Mad about their inability to do anything about that.  Mad that they seemed to be standing alone against the bleak future.  As they went round and round trying to come up with something that might work, one brilliant idea for the rest of the world to latch on to and embrace before it was too late, they would eventually become mad at themselves too for not being able to agree on anything.

Their voices would raise, their fists would pump animatedly, and one parent of the other would yell down the stairs to “keep it down” or “knock it off” and then the three would roll their eyes, make truces, and take much needed breaks to clear their thoughts and start over.  The gaming consoles were never out of arms reach.

The fate of the world could wait until they’d reached the next save point.

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I don’t know.  I picked one of the prompts and these were the words that came to me for it.  What would you write about for this week’s InMonster writing challenge?

Inspiration Monday logo

The Rules

There are none. Read the prompts, get inspired, write something. No word count minimum or maximum. You don’t have to include the exact prompt in your piece, and you can interpret the prompt(s) any way you like.

OR

No really; I need rules!

Okay; write 200-500 words on the prompt of your choice. You may either use the prompt as the title of your piece or work it into the body of your piece. You must complete it before 6 pm CST on the Monday following this post.

The Prompts:

WINDOW LIZARDS

MERCURY POISONING

SECRET ORGANIZATION

TIME STAMP

THE FINAL FRONTIER

a view into the past

Snow
Image Credit: Kadri Sammel

“What do you see?”

Cindy’s mom offered her a photo as the two sat next to each other over breakfast on a lovely summer morning.  The daughter was prepared for the game and eagerly grasp the photo to see what gem from the old world she was going to get to see.

The contrast between her summer heat and the cold and snow in the picture was the first thing to jump out at her, but Cindy quickly discarded the idea of responding about that.  With her mom there was always something deeper to look for, some lesson to be learned.  The next thing that caught her attention was the dangerousness of driving automobiles in such conditions and how foolish they had been as a species at that time.  But, they had already discussed pride on a different morning and Cindy suspected that the risks humans used to take was closely aligned to their pride.

That was probably the trick with this photo, Cindy thought.  Her mom wanted was testing her to see if she would jump to mention the cars and the slick and icy roads or if she would delve further and see what else was going on.  And then she spotted something so ridiculous she blurted it out, slapping her hand across her mouth immediately after, but too late, of course, to keep the words from reaching her mother.

“Are those snowflakes attached to that light pole?”

Ignoring her daughter’s embarrasement for having spoken without thinking it through, Cindy’s mom urged her to continue on that train of thought, “And why is that so surprising?”

Removing her hand from her mouth, Cindy returned her attention the picture.  She realized she had lucked into the the right answer and she needed to study the photograph to determine what exactly about the snowflakes had drawn her attention.  “Why would they hang snowflakes like that in a place that gets covered with snow and ice every winter already?  It’s not like they need a reminder of what they look like.  From the histories we’ve studied it sure seems like living in those conditions was a lot of work.  Placing the snowflakes there feels like a slap in the face.”

Cindy glanced into her mother’s face and saw approval there.  She had done well and allowed herself a smile.  But, the smile dropped to a frown as her curiosity forced her to ask, “So, why would the old generations have done that?”

“The snowflakes were part of the decorations that went with the holiday known as Christmas, and for our purposes today they represent the truth that over time all pageantry and traditions will trend toward the absurd.  As the people who first began to honor something with a celebration die off, the original ideas behind the why, behind the need of that celebration will distort as their children take over, and on and on until eventually people find themselves doing things that no longer make sense, or are offensive, or are ridiculous, simply because ‘it is tradition.'”

Cindy nodded as she processed her mom’s response and then asked, “Is that why we no longer have holidays of any kind?”

“That’s one of the reasons, yes.  This picture was taken in a time of excess, near the height of humans reign and power on this planet.  As the years grew harder and we diminished, we had to work harder to survive until we no longer had time for such silliness.”

“Will we ever return to a time of excess?”

“Everything is cyclical.  What we had once, we will have again.  But, with all that we now know about the world, would you really want to return to a time like that?  Would you really want to live in a world that behaved so poorly?”

Cindy studied the picture one last time.  “No,” she responded firmly and then handed it back to her mom to file away with the rest of the photographs.

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What do you see?

Write it, link it to this week’s Once More With Feeling challenge, and then post it so we can all read your thoughts and ideas inspired by the photograph provided.

we should have

The cleaning crew found the skeleton sitting at an antique desk, the skull leaning across his left arm and a pen still firmly grasped in his right.  The parchment the deceased had been writing on had yellowed with time and the words had faded away.  They called the disposal unit and asked for the whole mess to be transported back to their lab for further examination.  The skeleton and surrounding area of the room had survived relatively unscathed compared to most of the ruins they had scrubbed so far.

Once the remains were safely moved to their lab the disposal unit notified them and they abandoned their remaining cleaning pursuits for the day to run tests on the anomaly.  How had he survived so much longer than the rest of his people?  Why were his remains still discernible while the rest of his race had been turned to dust?  Those questions were just the beginning of the information they hoped to glean as they strapped into their shuttle, blasted away from the scorched surface of the dead planet, and returned to the master ship.

After hours of careful examination they determined that the human had died of exsanguination.  They were disheartened by this discovery, for a time, because they had hoped to find some trace of the deceased’s blood to test for toxin and radiation levels to help them ascertain why he had lived while the rest had died.  However, they then noticed that the human had cleverly created a way to use his blood to refill his pen.  He wrote himself to death.

They found it curious that someone would willingly choose to expire in such a manner, but they could not judge him because they weren’t aware of the circumstances surrounding his decision.  Plus, they were elated to know that all the blood they would need, and then some, was there for the taking in the pages he had written.  It just needed to be extracted.

For documentation purposes, following proper protocol, they did a full scan of the parchment and preserved the man’s final words, his story of death, before starting the process to remove the blood from the page.  Eventually they were forced to admit that the tests were inconclusive and they could not ascertain why that one human had been able to survive the event that had decimated the rest of the planet.  There was nothing in his blood to indicate he had received a smaller dose of radiation or that he had built of antibodies to fight the toxins that had poisoned everything else.  There was no evidence that he was different in any way from the rest of the specimens they had collected and analyzed.

Being a species of logic, they could make the jump to the idea that he might have had a strong enough will to push on through the pain and disease longer than the rest of his kind, but they wouldn’t say that with certainty because there was no way to prove it.  In their published report of their findings they glossed over all speculation, included the data they were certain of, and also included a copy of the human’s writings.  They understood their was a warning in his words, and while they would never need to heed such advice, they found it fascinating all the same.

Here, in its entirety, are the man’s last words, preserved so that those who need to heed the lesson within have the opportunity to do so:

I’ve seen the damage assessments coming in, and so I know our history will be lost.  We were here for such a short time, compared to the stars we studied, I’m sure there are worlds out there who wouldn’t even consider what we had here as a history at all.  We were the brief flash of a dying spark in a universe full of steady and intense infernos.

But, to us, it still felt like we had at least the start of a full and meaningful existence on the planet we called Earth.  We had grown so much as a species.  We had learned and developed and studied and conquered and created.  We created so many beautiful things.  We also created many ugly things that proved our undoing…

Who sent the first rockets speeding into the atmosphere to deliver their nuclear payload doesn’t matter anymore.  The result is around me now, and around you if this letter somehow survives.  We vaporized ourselves over petty squabbles and misunderstandings.  We killed ourselves and our planet because in our pride we had grown ignorant over the generations.  Our excess made us greedy.  Our inventions made us lazy.  We forgot how to think for ourselves.  Most importantly, we forgot how to question the status quo and to continue searching for new knowledge.

My time is running short now.  I’ve written too much to survive.

Challenge yourself.  Never stop seeking knowledge.  Find new worlds.  Explore.  Adventure.  Hurt.  Heal.  Question everything.

We should have…