Archives for posts with tag: creative writing

Her colors were muted. She wanted to be bright. To shine like the sun. She was dour, dressed in black. Gray was her brightest color. She wanted to see something more…to be. But her vision was blurry. It rain from windows. She didn’t know how to begin. The yellow brick road. The unbeaten path. She was blue girl with shades of gray dancing before her eyes.

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timemanagementtipsThe smoke rose like wispy serpents, fiery tongues licked the ground. Buildings burned and a barbecue smell waft through the air. Somewhere amid the charcoal rubble an amber eye popped open. Then a leg in tattered slacks wiggled beneath a board. An arm shot through the rubble. After a few minutes she was free.  Tiny sparks danced on her corduroy sleeve, her midnight curls matted with blood and sweat. She was cut and bruised, but she would soon heal. She hobbled among the destruction, a twisted unicycle here, an engulfed vehicle there. She stopped and covered her nose with the collar of her shirt.  She stared at the gutted frame of the wheel of time. It no longer spun. Panic began to drum inside her chest. She stepped backwards. Since the beginning of time the wheel has spun around and around. “Hello,” she called out. She squinted her eyes, scanning the smoke filled horizon. Where were all the people?  A patch of blue fell from above.

“Oh my stars.”  Another piece of blue fell near her shoe. Time was unraveling.  “No. No.” She raked her hands across her damp curls. “This isn’t good.” She smacked her forehead with the palm of her hand. A faint ticking sound reached her ears. She pulled up the sleeve of her jacket. The timepiece, it was ticking. Albeit a half second too slow. “There’s still time.” A smile broke like a rule across her face.  She started to run, her legs moving with a sense of purpose. She needed to find the time capsule.

She was on a desolate street with abandoned cars with flung open car doors. She looked around. She took a step, something squeaked beneath her foot. A faded rubber duck. She wondered about the child it belonged to. She picked it up. There in the distance was the time capsule protruding from the side of a building. She couldn’t recall how she got so far away. As she made her way toward the time capsule, a figure swaddled in black stood between her and the time capsule. The hood pulled back, revealing the cherub face of a boy who had not reached puberty. “Well that’s a clever costume.” Tesla clenched her fist.

“For the time being,” the boy replied. “I don’t want to fight you. We are the same, you and I. Two sides of a coin.” The boy grinned but the smile didn’t reach his steel gray eyes.

Tesla spat on the ground. “I’m nothing like you. You want to destroy all the world. There are people here.”

“The world was once destroyed by a flood. And yet there are still people here. I think it’s time to start anew again.” The boy pulled out a gold gleaming pocket watch. It swung like a pendulum.

“Where did you get that?” The boy laughed, emitting a metallic sound. With a swish of his cloak he headed toward the time capsule. Tesla sprang forward grabbing for the trailing cloak. The boy spun around and elbowed Tesla in the face. She recovered but not quick enough. The boy was already in the time capsule, a triumphant grin on his face. He disappeared in a blink.

Tesla’s hand balled into a fist, she opened it. And there was the pocket watch. Now the ends of her cut mouth curved upward. There was still time to save everything and everyone.

 

The Barksdale Pigeons

The Barksdale pigeons were the foulest of the fowl. There were four of them. Four feathered terrors who ruled the stoop. If you don’t believe me just take a gander.

Twyla, the sparrow was most delighted to have a piece of cornbread betwixt her beak. She hopped and tilted her head to the side and gave a sweet little tweet. Suddenly a shadow loomed over Twyla. She dropped her cornbread. Coo. The ominous trill filled the space. “Give me that cornbread.”

Twyla eyes grew to the size of sunflower seeds. It was one of those foul Barksdale pigeons. “Are you daft? Give me that cornbread.” The pigeon’s head jerked left and right.

Twyla pick up her cornbread. It was only one of them. Right now she felt as big as a crow. “No,” she trilled. “It’s mine.” She flapped her wings.

The other three pigeons landed next to their brother. “She giving you trouble?” the brothers asked.

“She’s giving me her cornbread.” The brother pecked the top of Twyla’s head. She dropped the cornbread. The brothers all made a beeline for the cornbread. Twyla jumped back. The Barksdale pigeons were all feathers as they peck away at her food. Twyla stared, the top her teeny noggin smarting. One of the Barksdale pigeons looked up. “Scat away feathered mouse.”

She didn’t need to be told twice. She flapped her wings and flew away. Make someday those feathered rats would pick on the wrong bird.

There once was a girl called Spark. She burned bright. But that fire in her eyes became a dying ember. You could find her on cloudy days dressed in weary blue jeans. Rain falling from brown eyes.
There once was a girl called Spark. She felt bright as the sun. But so many things threatened to smoldered her spark. Clouds of doubt clotted her mind.  You could find her wrapped in a dream.
There once was a girl called spark. Fire coarse through her veins. But the tears burned more. She felt the spark winking out like a collapsed star. No more dreams to carry. There once was a girl called Spark.

Blood orange sunset
tea bitter with
tears.

The flowers grow blood orange sunsets
in winter
crystal petals
prick
crimson drops.

This is a chapter excerpt from a work-in-progress called Heir to the Kingdom

Chapter 1

Keep Her Safe

The moon was high in the sky. A glowing Cyclops in the midnight. Hoof beats and baby cries echoed in the night. Queen Nara with her baby daughter in a sling strapped to her back, galloped through the forest on a unicorn. Five hooded figures on horses black as tar pursued them. Plumes of smoke came from the horses’ nostrils. Queen Nara ducked, the baby sling twisted sideways. Low hanging branches knocked one of the hooded figures off his horse.

A flicker of a smile played on Queen Nara’s lips. The baby’s cries grew louder. She had to keep her safe. She gently kicked Neptune’s side. He quickly made a sharp right turn.

“Aaugh.” Another rider was lost. But there was still three more gaining ground. She looked back. The baby clenched her fist and continued to cry. Queen Nara’s brow creased. There was only one thing that could stop them long enough. She leaned forward and whispered in Neptune’s ear. He slowed to a canter. The midnight riders reigned in their horses. Queen Nara raised her hands with the palms facing the sky. Softly she spoke. “Lumiere.” Sunlight burst through the night. Two of the three midnight riders were thrown from their horses. The one that remained shielded her eyes from the blinding light.

Queen Nara dismounted Neptune. She glanced over her shoulder; she knew the shield wouldn’t last forever. She had to hurry. She removed her baby daughter from her back. She held her close to her bosom. “You aren’t safe here. You are the last.” Tears glistened on the queen’s cheeks. The baby stopped crying. She opened her eyes. One was purple the other brown. She grabbed her mother’s nose. The queen gently kissed her forehead. A shimmer remained on the baby’s forehead. She held her daughter in the crook of her arm and she took her free arm and plunged it into the lake, which look like liquid sapphires. Slowly she pulled her arm of the water. A mirror with silver sculptured leaves and flowers stood in the center of the lake. The surface of the mirror rippled like a stone skipped across it. “One day you’ll return. But until then you must remain hidden from them.” She held her daughter close to her bosom. The baby’s face turned red as a strawberry. The baby’s sharp cry cut through the night. “I love you my sweet little Sepia,” she said softly. She tucked the note inside the baby’s sling. “But if you aren’t kept safe, all will be lost.” She gave her daughter one final kiss on the forehead before placing her daughter on the mirror’s rippling surface. Tears pricked Queen Nara’s eyes as she watched the mirror shimmer as it shimmer as it took her daughter somewhere safe. The mirror was just a mirror again. Queen Nara took the palm of her right hand and pushed the mirror down into the sapphire lake.

The light shield broke. Queen Nara spun around. It was just her and the two midnight riders. “Where is the baby?” the female rider asked.

“Somewhere away from you Oleander.” Queen Nara unsheathed her rapier.

“Oh, sister dear, I’m only concern about my niece.” Oleander made a small gesture with her hands to her partner.

Thistle must die.

            Die he must.

            Be gone.

            No more.

            Bridget tossed. She buried her head under her pillow but still she heard them. Voices. Whispers in the night. Raspy and cold.

            When shall it be done?

            Right away.

            No.

            During the solstice.

            That is best

            Best it is.

            Bridget opened her eyes. The voices were right outside her window. Slowly she rose from her bed. She approached the window with trepidation and a racing heart. The moon was full. Full and bright. Right below her window the moon spilled light on a cluster of toadstools.

            How shall it be done?

            Poisoned boysenberries.

            That is best.

            Best it is.

            Bridget gasped. The voices were tiny beings. Tiny beings with wings. “Fairies.”

            The fairies looked up with orange glowing eyes.

            Bridget froze. She heard stories about these creatures. There were two kinds: light and dark. Seelie and Unseelie. These fairies were shades of midnight, violet and charcoal with spider-webbed wings. “They’re dark ones.” Bridget knew this couldn’t bode well. She quickly shut the window. But the fairies were quick as flies (three of the four made it inside her room).

            Hemlock.

            The fairies glanced back at the shut out fairy. Hemlock hit his twiggy fist on the window, until an owl scooped down and carried him away.

            Hemlock.

            He is gone.

            Gone is he.

            “Sorry about Hemlock.” Bridget had backed into the edge of her bed.

            The fairies tore their attention from the window and back on Bridget.

            Silence child.

            Don’t speak child.

            The fairies hovered inches from her face. She could clearly see that two of the fairies were male.

            She has the Sight. This came from the lone female. She was of violet hue with gossamer curls.

            She heard our plans.

            Our plans she heard.

            “I’m not going to tell anyone. Who would I tell?” She glanced at the door, it seemed so far away.

            Probably a spy for Thistle.

            Spy for Thistle. The male fairies chimed. Their angular midnight faces were too close to her nose.

            She must be silenced, Safflower.

            Lentil, Flaxseed, I can’t harm a child.

            She mustn’t tell what she heard.

            What she heard.

            “Mom,” Bridget screamed.

            Safflower’s wings moved furiously and she squeezed her right hand into a fist.

            Bridget felt her throat tighten; her scream grew faint and stayed on her tongue. Tears swam in her eyes.

            Bridget’s mom called her name through the door.    

            Safflower unclenched her fist.

            “Honey are you alright?” The knob turned.

            Lentil and Flaxseed exchanged frantic glances. Then Lentil spoke in a voice that was all too familiar to Bridget. I am okay mother. Bad dream, all is well.

            Bridget’s mouth dropped. That was her voice.

            “Do you want some warm milk?” her mom asked. The knob stop turning.

            No thanks. I am already asleep.

            “Okay honey.”

            “Don’t leave mom.” Bridget’s voice was just a whisper in her ear. “My voice give it back.” She glared at Safflower.

            No voice.

            No tell.

            Bridget clenched her jaw. She glanced around her room for something to use against the fairies. There was her unzipped messenger bag in the corner. Today’s discarded clothes draped over a chair. On the dresser next to her bed was her art project. A bunch of feathers, strings and beads. A poorly made dream catcher. “Fairy catcher,” she said in a whispery tone. Keeping her eyes on the fairies, she deftly reached for the dream catcher. Before the fairies could twitch a wing, they were caught in the fairy catcher.

            Bridget stepped back, arms folded, watching the fairies futile attempts at escaping. Lentil’s lower wing became dog-eared.

            This is devilment.

            Devilment this is.

            Let us out. Safflower glowered at Bridget through a fringe of feathers.

            Bridget pointed to her throat. “My voice,” she rasped. “Give it back.”

            Lentil and Flaxseed shook their heads.

            Bridget flopped on the edge of her bed. She watched with a smirk on her face as the fairies continued to struggle. Lentil now had two dog-eared wings.

            Okay. Safflower has one hand free. She opened her fisted hand slowly like a budding flower.

            Bridget felt a cool tingling in the back of her throat. Then like a swelling sea her voice rose. “That’s better.”

            Free us.

            Bridget grabbed a pair of scissors out of her pencil bag. Snip. Snip. The fairies were free. They flew toward the window, Lentil not as high on the count of his folded wings. The window was closed.

            Let us out.

            “Gladly.” Bridget raised the window a sliver. The fairies slipped out. The three glared at her one more time before darting into the night. Bridget couldn’t shake the feeling that those fairies would try to get back at her somehow. But she was the fairy catcher and with that thought she went to bed.

***

            Bridget awoke to sun sparkles on her window. Tap. Tap. She blinked. The sun sparkles were tapping on her window. Bridget slid from under her covers. And sat on the edge of the bed.

            Bridget, it is Thistle.

            Plus Clover.  A female chimed in.

            Relief washed over Bridget. She opened the window. There standing on her windowsill were two members of the Seelie court. Thistle was shades of sunlight and transparent wings. Clover was blue as morning sky with bits of clovers in her French braid.

            What have you learn?

            “They plan to kill you with poison boysenberries.” Bridget felt her heart rushing toward her throat.

            Is there proof. Clover’s face was etched with skepticism. She might have the Sight but can she be trusted.

            “I have proof.” Bridget took a pocket recorder from behind her window curtain.  She pushed play.

            Thistle must die.

            Die he must.

            Be gone.

            No more.

            Bridget pushed the stop button. “I hope that is proof enough.” She placed the recorder in between the fairies.

            Clover looked white as a cloud. That is disturbing.

            Thistle bowed before Bridget. Many thanks. Vital information. You’ve stopped war among the fey clan. Need anything?

            Bridget thought for a moment about Lentil, Flaxseed and Safflower and how they could harm her, maybe she should ask for protection. She smiled. “I don’t need anything, just doing my part for all of human and fairy kind.”

            We wish you well.

            Well we wish you. The fairies flew away with the recorder. Bridget waited until they were gone before she began working on her fairy catchers. She might have stopped one war, but if word got out that she was an informant for the Seelie court, she would have dark fairies swarming her window. She smiled as she finished one fairy catcher. She wasn’t afraid she was the fairy catcher after all.