Scratches. That’s what I lived by. A cautious cadence of scratches meant a gentle road, a juddering attack of scratches meant some winding or turning, and no scratches meant relief, sleep, a chance the journey was over.
I was lucky, I knew. Some displaced souls escaped in much worse conditions. Hundreds of humans in tiny shipping containers, some bodies touching bodies that were only still. Not thinking of the guilt I feel for those left behind.
The scratches started again, the hay around me a comfort blanket of freedom as it carried me to what I hoped would be safety.
Her messy bun held. Just. But trailing plaits swung like pendulums impending doom. The pair helped balance her as she tried to bear the weight of the hydria. Sun warmed water sloshed from its brim, making her sandals slippery and her path more difficult.
Her nimble frame, encumbered, but still nimble enough to weave through sailors unloading ships, stall owners shouting for custom, and other serving girls like her cargo-ing the morning water. Or maybe the furrow of Athenians just had little desire to get tangled within the mess they sensed she would make.
Visages of a large broken urn being their responsibility or their goods soaked to useless steered them from her path. However she could see little through the handle and did not notice her path taking turns she had not planned, taking her closer to the water’s lapping edge than the road home.
All it took was the unfamiliarity of the stone and the slip of soaking sandals to topple her and her guest into the blue. Cold hard waves broke her fall where the sun had not yet warmed it, and as she bobbed on the surface, despair seeping into her bones, her master’s hydria began to sink. She’d managed to earn some fish a new home, and herself a week of pain she could not begin to imagine.
Written for the #writephoto prompt linked here, photo below.
I always had to have the last word To feel I’d won the fight.
You always let me have the last word Because you cared more about us than winning.
Thank you for all your losses so we could win and weather The storm I was the eye of That we still suffered together.
I now see It’s not you vs me It’s us vs anything life attempts to make us hurdle I’m ready to take one, two, three for the team And let you win And if I have learnt a goddamn thing It won’t feel like I lose But that we just sail out Onto calm waters Our hands gripped tighter than they were before.
I immediately saw the blurry lines in this image and thought of the song. I wanted to write about it but as I felt what I wrote (albeit super flash fiction) was enough to get across the point I wanted to make.
My skin peels away from flesh, my flesh from milky marrow, leaving nothing but my naked soul exposed for all to judge. I step out, beaming spotlight of raw sun highlights the pockmarks seared in from hate and anger. Without my shield my anger has melted, without my comfort blanket of body I can ask truly for forgiveness. “Please. Forgive me.” The limp lips of their lifeless face cannot. It is up to me to forgive myself. But if I repeatedly forgive myself, will I ever stop?
Torrents invaded But here I still stand If anything Nourished By the unexpected Ferocious flow Of tears through this land.
I’d like this to be an example to all the other islands out there That no matter your stature (And although life isn’t fair) That you can keep going And live To tell tales to the young Of how you not only survived, But thrived, Grew, And won.
All it took was for me to brush past him, his T-shirt rudely commanding. “Just do it.” it ordered me. I felt personally attacked. How did he, let alone his clothing, know what was crowding my mind. And how dare it be so frank to a total stranger. I continued through the hustle, the bustle. Anger. Which dissolved. Into determination. I turned back and marched straight up to the audacity that had attacked me.
“I will do it!” I announced, more to the T-shirt than the wearer. And then I walked away, leaving bemusement, and my self doubt, behind me.
I’ve made it! To the end of April! Writing every prompt day! I’m so proud of myself. ☺️ Think I might give myself a lil break in May, stay tuned. 💛
“Zenith: Originating from Arabic and meaning the way over one’s head, by the 1300s zenith was used to describe the highest point in the heavens and by the 1600s it had come to include other high points. Nowadays it is used to describe reaching the top of one’s career. When she played Desdemona she realized that she had reached the zenith of her theatrical aspirations.“
“Zephyr: Zephyr, a gentle breeze from the west, derives its name from Zephyrus, the Greek god of the west wind, and was used by both Chaucer and Shakespeare in a figurative and metaphorical sense. More recently, zephyr has been adopted as a term for a lightweight fabric and the clothing made from it.”
(from “1000 Words to Expand Your Vocabulary” by Joseph Piercy)