hungry

The sound, a low rumbling, caught my attention.  In the darkness I caught sight of something large slip between the cracked garage door, like a tongue licking giant lips.  Was the house purring?  Is that what I heard?  It was happy knowing it was about to be fed?

My path did not cross directly in front and I certainly felt no desire to get any closer to the garage.  The curiosity of what I’d really seen and what I’d heard was strong, though.  Perhaps if my errands hadn’t been quite so urgent, I might have crept closer to see what there was to see.

Then maybe this story would have a different ending….

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day terrors

The crows fled before him in splashes of darkness against the coming dawn. It was often said that such birds were omens of ill fortune. He’d never seen them that way. He had always been fascinated by their ability to fly and he had long been searching for a flock of us his own. He wasn’t likely to find one but that didn’t keep him from hoping. He paused long enough to watch them disappear into the gloom where his eyes could no longer penetrate and then he lifted his gaze to the eastern skies. Very soon a new day would start and he still had a ways to go before he was safely within the confines of his home.

The bard had warned them not to get caught outside during the day.

It used to be that there were certain risks that could be taken while the sun was up, to get water, or relieve oneself, or tend to something else immediately near the house. But, the last time the bard had come through to sing his songs and share his tales he had warned all who would listen that the daytime would soon be completely unsafe. Only those who had listened survived the following weeks. The rest disappeared but only after their painful screams floated away from their homes.

Trist had been friends with the bard before he’d taken on the noble calling and so had trusted his word and stopped going out in the daylight. He had spent some time wondering if he would have listened so well if he hadn’t known the story master before. In the long hours of sunlight, there was time to ponder all kinds of what ifs and what could have beens.

Stepping forward again, Trist quickened his pace. He needed to hurry.

He’d spent the night checking on and chatting with his closest neighbors. He did that most nights. Trist didn’t mind that nobody ever seemed to come around to check on him. They were scared or had families to look after or had to spend the safe nighttime hours toiling away to provide for themselves and their loved ones. He understood. That was one of the reasons he was willing to go out and knock on doors each night. He didn’t have those same set of worries and responsibilities.

Being friends with the bard had certain perks like that. Trist did not take that for granted. He took it upon himself to help his neighbors as much as he could.
A hint of sunlight flashed across his path and Trist cursed. How he longed to be a bird. He could simply take to wing and fly away from the danger. He was fairly certain that he would be safe in the sky.

His front door came into view and Trist began to sprint.

He knew he was being paranoid. It was still too dark. There was no reason his heart needed to race the way it did, or his palms sweat, or his mind linger on the worst that could happen. He had heard that worst happening to some of his neighbors, some of his friends, though. And their screams were not easily forgotten.

Crack

Author’s note:  this one is pretty dark… and I feel like I should mention on the outset, this isn’t me and you don’t need to worry about it.  I’m exploring characters and I had the first line in my head.  As I put the words down the rest sort of filled in to explore the theme of the echoing “cracks.”  So, trigger warning for suicide.  Skip this one if that will set you off.  And, don’t worry about me!  Everything is a-okay in the kingdom!

Another Author’s note:  Feels like there has been a bunch of darker posts recently.  Feels that way because I wrote them all at the same time and have since scheduled them out across the month.  I can’t promise that I’ll write anything happier any time soon but I have noticed the trend and I will make an effort to turn some of these things into something a bit lighter.

………………………………………………………………………….

I opened my eyes to a world bathed in colors I couldn’t name. I blinked and the world remained. I breathed and my lungs filled cleanly. I snapped my fingers and the crack echoed between my ears before fading to nothingness.

Crack

Crack

Crack

Crack

Crack
Crack

I woke with a start. I kept my eyes squeezed shut, though. I didn’t want to see that it had only been a dream. I didn’t want to miss the colors. As long as my eyes were shut I could ignore the cacophony and the oily air. But then a crash from outside echoed across the room and my eyes flew open.

Crack

Crack

Crack

Crack

Crack
Crack

Another accident. Another twisting of metal and flesh because of one reason or another and none of them worthwhile. I didn’t need to rise to see it. I could hear the horns and shouts and cries of pain. Son the sirens would come and drown out all else. I would smell the blood and fire but still only see the drab of greys of reality.
I longed for sleep to take me before the worst of it. To sleep. To dream. To return to the beauty of would could be if only…
But sleep did not come. Would not. Refused to come.
I knew how to force it though.
A rope. A fall. And then…

Crack

Crack

Crack

Crack

Crack
Crack

mile marker 14

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They sat on the outstretched branches and let their toes dangle in the water. That such a paradise could be hidden in plain sight, as it was, always surprised them but they didn’t lament the quiet, the solitude, the serenity. For those moments each day, when they slipped away from the world to lounge in their spot, everything else seemed to fade away. No cares. No concerns. No deadlines. Just the gentle lapping of the surf pressing up against the soles of their feet and the ocean breeze cooling their thoughts.