I’d like to clip your wings so you can’t fly.

A little short story about love – because I have a thing for turning mythos on its head 😉

-/-

The tales, the paintings, the bullshit Valentine’s Day cards we got in grade school – they were wrong, so they told me.

My hands trembled with the box, its contents heavy and unsteady. The voice inside of it haunted me and would continue to do so. I walked into the dock house, the sunlight streaming in through the dilapidated roof. Cobwebs and old bird nests decorated the rafters, the smell of seawater and old oil permeated through the space. Boxes and furniture tarps protected whatever contents remained hidden away, the curse of being unwanted.

Certainly no place for someone of her stature.

“Hello?” I managed to ask, the timbre sounding more shaky than I had meant it to. Confusion and shame started settling in. I looked down as I walked my way across the creaky floorboards. Feathers littered the floor, the familiar tufts of gulls and pigeons. In the space between boxes, a large feather lingered. I paused in my trek, bending down to inspect. It was larger than any eagle’s I had seen, thicker and whiter than any vulture’s. 

A loud creaking from across the room caused my hand to retract. I clutched the box to my chest, a thrumming heartbeat accompanying it.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve had visitors,” her voice loose and curious in the strangled space.

I looked up to find another place entirely. Where boxes had been were now pillars of marble and quartz. Where the sun had trickled in now streamed ribbons of dusk light. And in the place of back of the dock house stood a throne of cushions – square, round, and oval shaped – made of silk in different shades of red, rose and gold.

She sat on a large white cushion wearing a floor length gossamer gown to match, strings of pearls adorning her shoulders as cap sleeves. Her hair was pulled back, two curled strands framing her face. Her eyes were honey, welcoming, but in the way that predators fool their prey in making them comfortable before eating them whole.

“Are you–?”

“What gave it away, darling?”She gave me a pitying look. The box continued to beat against my chest – a constant reminder. “What? Were you expecting a little, fat cherub?”

“Maybe,” was all I could reply with. She stood up and walked towards me, her bare feet silent on the marble floor.

“All children grow up. Have a little imagination,” she cooed. Her eyes searched mine, her head angled to the side inspecting all of my insecurities. “It’s annoying, isn’t it?”

“Wh-what is?”

“The constant aching of love.” She smiled, snatching the box out of my hands. She turned around to walk back to her throne. “My payment, I’m assuming?” I heard her open the box, the squeaks of the hinges yelling loudly in the open room. She paused and looked over her shoulder. “Quite impressive.”

I nodded to her, unsure of where to go, what to do. “His name is Patrick.” 

“Of course it is,” she stated matter-of-factly, slamming the box shut. She set it down on a cushion, a blend of smoke and light now emanating from her hands. The wisps of cloud condensed and thickened, materializing into a long shape. When it settled, the smoke revealed a small arrow, the size of a bowie knife, covered in a layer of gold. She gripped it in her hand, light peeking through the spaces in between her fingers. She walked toward me, motioning for me to take it.

It was still warm, and even more surprising, contained my name  engraved along its shaft. “I thought this part was your job.”

She laughed, a tone of wickedness coming up from her throat. “Your desires, your actions, your consequences, love. I merely provide the tools.”

“What do I do?”

Her eyes flickered over to the box, licking her lips impatiently. She dusted off imaginary dirt from her dress. “How do you think it works?” When I didn’t answer, she rolled her eyes and gripped my hand in hers, the arrow now singing in the center of it all. “You find him, you look him in the eyes and you put it through his heart.”

A small gasp left my lips. I stumbled over my words.

“Love is nothing to be trifled with, darling. If his heart is open to your love, it will absorb the arrow. If not, well, I just recommend doing this in a private place.” She winked.

My body sagged. Tears rimmed my eyes at the prospect of Patrick on the ground, his heart lost to me in the way I didn’t want. “But what I’ve done already…I don’t think I can do this.”

She tsked me. “You knew the price when you decided you were desperate enough to seek me out. What’s done is done. Now, finish it.” She pushed my hands close to my chest, her own letting go. “You have 72 hours. If you don’t use it, it will disappear, along with your own heart.” I swallowed, the guilt settling into every muscle. “I suggest you use the time wisely.”

I clutched the arrow tightly, my name cutting into my palm. I looked up to find her sitting on the cushion again, the box given in her lap. She opened it, grasping the contents with one hand. Blood began seeping down her arm in dancing rivulets as her fingers clutched the dead heart, the tissue already tinged with gray. She smiled down at it, reveling in the scent and aura. My own ached in my chest. With every beat now, the room began disappearing, the mask of the dock house returning like water washing away paint. It crept closer to her throne, framing her in a halo of the ordinary. “72 hours, dear. Good luck.” She winked as the mask closed in, then took a deep bite into the heart, blood seeping into the fabric of her gown. For a moment, I could see her veins glow with a pulsing joy before disappearing in a swirl of marble and wood.

-/-

I looked over at Patrick as we walked down the street, the glow of the lampposts illuminating his smile. The arrow was a weight in my coat pocket, the gold burning a hole in the wool. The night was almost over, the end of the third day almost done. The rest of the evening was revolving around small talk and potential plans. We stopped in front of my brownstone, his fingertips lingering on mine. The minutes began to wind down, the voice of the rules, now a lament, still playing in my ears:

An eye for an eye,
A heart for a heart
For an arrow of love
For death ‘til you part.

I blinked away the memory of the heart I cut and gave away, fear and self-loathing making room for hope. “Hey, would you like to come up?”

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Starlight – an Endever writing prompt challenge

prompt1

Endever Writing Challenge

To me, “blue” has always been more of an emotion, a state of mind, than a color. I tried to convey that here, looking back to experiences and illnesses of my own. It’s a little bit of dark but (I hope) a lot of light. Enjoy!

————————————-

He was born under the stars.

When he closed his eyes he could still see them, circulating on the back of his lids from left to right, following the orbit of the Earth. They were seared there, imprinting a permanent calm. He never knew pure blackness, the pitch dark of nothing.

He ran a hand through his hair and settled it under his head as he opened his eyes. The morning was bright and unforgiving. It was an overwhelming peach, when he was a natural blue. His life was a constant wave of turquoise and cerulean. It weighed him down and brought him up like a current, the tide changing with the pull of the moon.

He took his time getting out of the bed, grabbing the pill vial on the way to the bathroom. He popped one out onto his palm and swallowed it dry. He turned the faucet on and splashed his face, cupping the water in his hand to take a drink. It would take a couple of hours before the currents subsided. A breath he had held onto throughout the night finally escaped his lips.

You are here, he spoke to his reflection. It wasn’t him, not really. Are mirror images ever really us to begin with? What stared back was a mashup of reversed angles, sharp points where he felt dull, jagged edges of false confidence. The reflection was probably born through the light, was blessed with darkness when it was appropriate, an easy flick of the switch when the time came to turn away.

You are special. He was a blue, how could he compare to the reds, the oranges, the greens and the yellows of this world? He was a dim speck of dusty cornflower, not as magical as the sunrise or dusk after a rainstorm. Too often, he was the storm.

You will be alright. This was the hardest part. His mother was rose, his father an emerald green (he assumed, he was never around for him to see). When he was born, under the sky and the constellations overhead, he didn’t think he could ever be alone if she was there with him.  But roses had a way of wilting away too quickly.

You woke up. You’ve already accomplished so much. This he heard in her voice. He rubbed his thumb along his opposite wrist in reaction and he stole a glance at the pill vial again, counting down the hours until he could open it back up. He nodded at himself in the mirror instead, that version of himself that was somehow better and worse, and walked away. The diffused light filled the room now, pushing out the dark from the corners.

Be brave. His body shook. He closed his eyes once more, letting the starlight comfort him. It was easier said than done most days but the darkness would never really encompass him.  He repeated the mantra in his mind, ready to walk into the shades of morning.


If you’re up for the challenge, write your take of this prompt on your own blog. Be sure to tag us by including the above picture and a link to this post so that we can find and read the creative interpretations you come up with! We will be re-posting our favorites for all to enjoy so give it your best!

(Specifics– Write using 500 words or less. There is no limit to the amount of stories you write per prompt. Copy and paste these writing challenge details when you share with friends so others can join.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

night blossom.

A small fanfic that blossomed into something I rather liked.

-/-

There were times when she smelled flowers.

Not the ones that he had planted outside of their window – English lavender, peach & white gladiolas and yellow buttercups – but the ones that grew by the bay, that held the ocean spray in the velvet of their petals. He would go out to sea, gone for only an afternoon or night at a time, and each time would bring back of sprig of wildflowers from the docks. She woke up to their smell next to her pillow, the first peeks of sunlight illuminating them in the new day.

She groaned, her fingertips clutching the empty pillow next to her, lines of sheet forming to meet in the heart of her palm. The wildflowers spilled over the edges, filling the room with their scent. She turned her head, her eyes squinting at the window. He stood there, his jacket off for once, his shirt loosened from his trousers. He held his hand on the windowpane, looking out over the bay but turned when he heard her stir.

“Morning,” she mumbled, pillow fluff half hanging from her mouth. He smiled, walking over to her and sitting on the edge. His nearness pulled her body up like a magnet and she draped an arm over the back of his shoulders. She rested her chin in the crook of his neck, taking in the salt air still pressed on his skin.

“Good morning, love,” he whispered, the stillness of the dawn not yet ready for anything other than hushed voices.

“Tell me,” she uttered. It was more of an order than a request, a permission for him to lose the weight of what he held onto.

He took a deep breath, in and out, his chest letting out a small shudder. She felt his heart in hers, the layers of skin and organs the only barriers between them. “A calm night, all clear. The town remains safe on the water another night.”

“And?”

He smiled, looking at her, the moon still an echo in his eyes. “I saw it again.”

His past. It still haunted him, drowning him in dreams and nightscapes. “Tell me,” she repeated, a gentleness in her tone. The serenity put him at ease again, his muscles loosening just an inch.

“I keep thinking the day would be more soothing, but the night helps more. The stars help. They keep me on track, keep me sailing back to you. I keep seeing the gates and the river and the shadows. So many shadows.”

She rubbed his back in small circles, her hair draping down his collarbone.

“I feel like it’s suffocating me, sometimes. I feel wound, constantly waiting for it to end. I see this blackness, this rope of black smoke choking me.”

“Honey-”

“But then I open my eyes and I see you. I see you in the stars…and then everything just disappears.” His voice was normal now, no longer a whisper, a small wave of nerves rippling off his tongue. She kissed the curve of his ear, pulling him into the bed, clothes and all. She wrapped her arms from behind him and across his chest. He tightened and loosened all at once, the pain of the day folding back into hibernation.

“Sleep, darling. You’re here, you’re home.” The petals crunched beneath their bodies, the remnants of the sea enveloping them, welcoming them back into pleasant dreams.