Words One Hundred

stories in one hundred words

Falling Into Sky

Julia’s Photo

Gravity would change for him.

Human rules, ever altering to increase comfort for the privileged per cent, impeded his family’s progress – no trickles for them. Nature stirred his struggling mind.

He would be carried into ether; perhaps everyone would be lifted. So he left letters for his children, and explained himself to his wife, who didn’t understand what he felt in his bones. She wept as he set out for the highest place he could reach.

In time he stepped over it’s edge, arms spread winglike, wild as every newborn and wailing, free to accept that he might not float.

The prompt was the photo, from Julia.

Far Away – A Short Prequel to ‘Entanglement’

Woman With Black Hair Illustration

Ilustration by Vectorportal via Flickr

 

“Dream Weaver” began on Aliss’s radio. As she washed breakfast dishes, lyrics about closing one’s eyes and going far away stopped her cold.

The pull she hadn’t been able to shake, drew her into blankness as suds ran to her elbow, dripping tiny pools onto the floor. Leaving them, she rushed to brush her teeth, collect her bag and head out.

At her office computer, she searched the song’s lyrics. No memories jogged, she decided to address her sound system problem and try the movie again. Miller was free Saturday. She ordered pizza for then and, returning to the routine, immersed herself in work.

This is a tiny prequel to the story, Entanglement, that I’ve been writing on Sparks In Shadow during the past weeks. The prompt was “… returning to the routine …” from Julia.

On The Edge

Fresh vegetables

Fresh vegetables (Photo credit: Bread for the World)

The line was drawn closer as listeners followed Nadine. Clancy walked backwards, beside her, glances over his shoulder making sure their path was clear.

“Who considers your lives when corporations plan profits at your expense? You’re bled dry, with government approval, until you’re meaningless pavement on roads to more money — like farmers driven to suicide in India — like farmers sued by conglomerate ‘owners’ of the life inside seeds!”

These truths angered Clancy to his core. He hoped more collected to listen before police came.

Stopping at Lincoln’s statue, Nadine mustered more volume. “They want control over our food! Will you give it to them?”

The prompt was “the line was drawn” – from Julia.

The First Road

Photo by Ré Harris

 

“Lord, these drops are collectin’ like a gang ‘o thieves. The rain turned the road into a river.” Rory walked to the edge of the asphalt, bare toes disappearing into murky ebbs of captive water.

Henry stood back a few feet, Bermuda shorts and no shirt cooling him under the umbrella as he watched her. “Come on. You’ll soak the seat.”

Rory turned to the car with the baby and their things piled in. “Think we’ll find another way?”

“Ain’t gonna let us get stuck here,” Henry said.

Rory nodded. “I know. Not many roads to take, though.”

“I’ll find one.”

She smiled, blinking against the rain. ” ‘kay.”

 

“… the rain turned the road into a river …” was the prompt, from Julia.

Colors Bursting In Air

Fireworks #1

Fireworks #1 by Camera Slayer via Flickr

 

Tess wrote down her steps from the train station to the vantage point she’d found, but still worried I’d get lost. At the Harrison subway stairs, I dialed her and followed directions. She beamed as I found her in the park stretched out among the waiting thousands.

Strains of “God Bless America” began after dark. Fireworks burst, radiating red, white and blue streaks over the lake. Tess was right. I wouldn’t have wanted to miss it: rousing music, vivid color soaring, falling in the distance like choreographed, sparkling rain.

I was six again, grateful Tess had guided me to it.

Sparklers

Photo by Ré Harris

“What do you mean he wouldn’t hold it? Little kids love those.” Gordon’s mother eyed her husband sidelong, then placed the serving bowl of potato salad on the picnic table. She lighted another sparkler. “There you go,” she said, handing it to Gordon.

He covered his eyes with both hands, and backed away until his unexpected landing, bottom first, in the wading pool. When water covered his face, the compounded embarrassment unleashed violent sobs from him.

His mother hustled him indoors to get dry, scolding. “You’re so silly. Now you can just stay inside awhile and learn how to behave.”

Firecrackers

Photo by Ré Harris

Across the street, down the block, they surprise us, scaring kitty to the safety beside my feet beneath the desk.

Resounding booms pummel my heart, like fists, jolting kitty too. She lets loose a deep, guttural growl to warn the offenders. Their laughter and another match mask her displeasure. They wouldn’t think of us over the din even if they’d heard.

Explosions from other neighborhoods echo in the quieter spaces, strange cruel poetry unleashed for reasons we don’t understand. Each summer, I strain to make out patterns – dangerous fun, reckless gunfire? I pass the time considering pointless questions. Kitty hides.

Streetlamp, Spider, Quilt

Photo by Ré Harris

 

Gazing at the streetlamp and the spiderweb again, in daylight, Val thought of Cass. She remembered him on the floor sewing together squares from old clothes, without straight pins, not looking up when she’d walk by.

“Damn, I’m good,” he’d say.

She’d stoop down to touch the fabric and his tiny stitches. “Damn.”

Tonight, under the quilt, she described the web and wondered why she never saw the spider.

“We’ll look for it sometime,” he said.

She whispered, “Okay,” turning her smile to the muscled flesh she liked at the front of his armpit, drifting as he kept her warm.

 

Voices

Photo by Ré Harris

 

“Shhh!”

“We’re on a busy bridge … noisy people all around … cars, buses, wind blowing. Why do you think I’m gonna scare it away?”

“Please …”

“You’re incredible.”

“There. I got a good one.”

“These birds are everywhere, but I’m glad you got the perfect shot of that one – like you’ll never see one again.”

“Not sitting there.”

“Yeah, well, I can’t believe how insulting you are, like my voice is gonna scare it. I should be more important to you than a bird.”

“Your talking over my shoulder was making my hands shake. Why d’you think it was about the bird?”

Two Potions

Photo by Ré Harris

 

Sharp moments follow me down, one after another. I find ragged comfort and deep regret down in the dark recess.

Of my mind, I can say its hardest won tools do calm when the welcome coolness of their embrace are chosen over anger’s heat. But my soul worries me.

Always myself when conjuring visions of ill will, who am I when I love? Pausing over iridescent liquid wrought to answer my question, I gaze at another potion which used my last vial of his tears. Gathered as he dreamt of me, I’ll have no more. Time lessens that potion’s force.

Choices tempt. I pray choice cools me.

The prompt was “in the dark recess of my mind” from Julia.

Their First Breakfast

Photo by Ré Harris

 

“Why don’t you buy whole milk?”

“It’s got too much fat.”

“Uh huh.”

“Is something wrong?”

“No. I’m just watching you fix your cereal. Watching and wondering.”

“You’re staring …”

“Yeah … well, why do you buy the one percent?”

“I don’t like skim. And two percent has almost as much fat as whole milk. I read about how misleading that is.”

“… and the half and half?”

“That’s for my coffee. I hate one percent milk in coffee. Ew.”

“But you just poured half and half over the one percent you put on your cereal.”

“Well, yeah. It makes it taste better.”