The last day of kindergarten

You are sitting on the grass, in the sun, your little legs stretched out before you. The tinsel on your Christmas hat glitters and sways. You’ve chosen your own food, which is heaped on a large paper plate upon your lap. All around you the school yard teems with laughing kindergarteners, their parents and teachers watching on lackadaisically.

For a moment you’re looking at me from afar. For a moment you do not recognise me. For a moment you are tiny and beautiful and alone—you haven’t yet hardened, you don’t yet know. You are oblivious to the things of tomorrow, beyond the playground. For a moment I cannot stop time from happening to you.

Then I wave, or you see me, and you grin in surprise. I hold you, this little flame who grew in the dark; now sharing food and conversation with me; now running away, sneakers kicking up sand, kicking away vulnerability, on the way to play.

A Study In White

*A fun little piece I did for a writing prompt last month:

A STUDY IN WHITE

The footprints in the snow suddenly ended. I knelt down to study the deep, three-pronged impression. Twice the size of my own. Extra metatarsal ridge. Female, and pregnant. The chimes on my staff tinkled faintly (ting ting); the theriomorph was still near.

Here’s a riddle: how does a ten-foot beast just disappear? A jewel glinted nearby. No, a piece of scale, icy and irridescent in my palm. I sniffed at it but gleaned no scent and then it melted into nothing. The clever half of me reckoned I shouldn’t be here, out in the open. The other stupid half had me remain.

I scanned the trees ahead and the blinding white all around, empty of life or movement. The truncated spoor lead backwards to the town from whence I had set out, a cruel twisted black shape against the pure horizon. Once in awhile, the wind carried snatches of moans and burnt carbon. The townsfolk trusted me too late, methinks.

“I’ve seen plenty of these things,” I had told them, to which I mentally replied, “in my books.”

Here’s a fact: nobody knows them like I do. They were primarily snow creatures (ting) but mated in summer. For the rest of the seasons, they hibernated as benign (ting) animal forms–foxes, deer, sometimes humans–whilst allowing the embryo to incubate (ting). A female did not become apparent (ting) until she was in breeding, usually in winter (ting). In winter, she turned ravenous.

Ting ting ting!

The air was rife with screaming chimes and a sudden, oppressive heat. I looked up. Well now, who knew theriomorphs could fl-

We Are

We are friable creatures, our photographs disintegrate in hairline movements, our smiles fractured on the floor.

We are parallel lines, leaving notes as we pass: your cup in the sink, my coat on the bed, our backs facing each other in the night.

We are the closing doors on awkward gazes, behind which silence teems. We are the eye of the storm before words are unleashed and twisted and cannot be unspoken again.

We are stuck in a loop, on the road, driving towards bad news. We are tunnels bright with failure, dark with disappointment.

We are black holes engulfing energy and light and all things nice. We are daggers and dead space, assholes and misers. We are blank paper, empty rooms, dust collecting, collecting malignancy. We are letters and sentiments, platitudes, post-coital apologies, happier times, always right, always wrong, slowly becoming irrelevant.

We are love dancing along the precipice, flying, falling, hand-in-hand. And we know not. We know not how to stop.

The Cottage

Here’s my little offering to The Drabble, a great site where you can read daily and/or submit 100-word stories.

THE COTTAGE

Welcome, neighbour, to these little woods, there’s nary a soul but you. You, and we sisters three. Here on your doorstep: some fruit and an invitation to tea. Come, yes, from our window we beckon, where the foxgloves blossom and apple tarts cool. Long in the tooth and long are our days, we long for your good company.

And when you come calling, do not mind no one’s home; it’s only been empty these past hundred years. Mind not the thriving decay or the hanging dead things, never mind our pretty illusion.

Do come in, dearie.

Sit down.

Stay.