The briefcase and half empty glass of juice meant only one thing. Julia tapped her papers against the glass table. “Why do you always do this?” Robin dragged his fork through the syrup running over his pancakes. “Why do I always do what?” “This.” Robin pointed at her briefcase with his dripping fork. “Go to work?” “It’s lame. When I grow up I’m gonna be a dancer.” Julia leaned down to the boy’s level where his blue eyes pierced her own. “That sounds wonderful. I know you’ll do that but until then …” Julia lifted his backpack and ballet slippers.
I imagine the breeze rustling the trinkets dangling above me. I even hear them in some distant space, clanking against each other ruefully. I can see them battling for space, a place to occupy my mind.
I remember watching TV. Knights clashed their swords together for the attention of some distant maiden. Sunlight carves stark lines across my single mattress like the scales of a dragon’s belly.
I’m careful with this one possession. I lay still but not for long out of fear my waif body will destroy it.
I sink into the lines, willing the beast to devour me.
My father was a gravedigger; taught me everything he knew.
Like that graves aren’t really six feet deep or that coffins and shrouded bodies require different things.
He taught me about the afterlife, murder and suicide. He taught me to wield a shovel whether I dig it in the ground or fight for my life. He taught me that those who feared death would be the first to die.
Mother never appreciated his gifts. “Unladylike.”
She never imagined I would own a yacht. I took her out to sea.
My father taught me a lot, like ignoring her screams.
I walked my dog here from the time the rain smelled of flowers through heated summer pains. We grew old here, grey hairs cropping up like pine needles. Soon we were covered with avalanches of them, prickly and sticky like aches and pains. Needles gave way to winters and snows heavy with human sorrow.
I had my first kiss here when birds were still quiet against the rising sun. He rested his hand on my cheek. He told me it would be alright. We planned a wedding through the morning dew and afternoon rays. But when the evening breeze came it left no remains. In the dark they strangled what we thought we had. By midnight it was just me and the needles, alone again.
I find myself in this place, over and over, shuffling dying fire starter from one memory to another. There’s smoke in the distance; the smell of burning dreams. I wonder what’s the cost to catch it all aflame and dissolve into the night, a waft of regret on the scent of what remains.
Word Count: 178 For Sunday Photo Fiction – This might as well have been partially written by Dirty Three (seriously, I’ve been on a binge)
Jada had no idea why it was the kettle. Surely it wasn’t always. How many childhood stories were there about tea kettles being possessed?
She couldn’t resist the designs. It begged to be taken home.
Such a tea slut.
The walls rumbled. In front of her individual scales twitched and flapped. A beast of terrifying size draped over her furniture.
Jada knew the beast couldn’t be real. Yet here it was, half chasing something in its sleep; its forked tongue hanging from between scaly lips. Its serrated claws curled as it feigned trotting through a field playfully tossing its massive head.
And probably a corpse.
A feeling of panic rested low in her belly. Jada’s legs ached to run but she was frozen.
Its head snapped up. Jada could see her reflection in the glossy red iris. The beast inhaled as its nose passed across her.
Not a snack, the whole meal. Is this really gonna be my last thought before I die?
Its putrid breath filled Jada’s nose. Instead of a roar it let out a series of low clicks.
Oh god, it’s engine won’t turn over.
Word Count: 200
For Sunday Photo Fiction – It’s my first time joining in with this (we can post on days other than Sunday right?) Also, dragons are like puppies. Who knew?