Vessel

This forest in May. It haunts my whole life;
I climb a low-hanging branch, scrap wet moss
across my thigh. Bark peels under my fingernails,
embeds in my skin, and I bite out each splinter,
blood dribbling on my tastebuds, smeared across
my bottom lip, around my mouth; I extend my
tongue to the tip of my nose — war paint for
the angels — climbing higher to the floor of the
clouds. The crows call to black wings that slit
open my shoulder blades, enclose around sun
in solar eclipse, casting shadows on earth below.

—Nortina


frapalymo#frapalymo (the German version of NaPoWriMo) is hosted by FrauPaulchen and translated from German into English by Bee at Just Fooling Around With Bee. Today’s prompt is the first line from Tomas Transtromer’s poem, Alcaic“This forest in May. It haunts my whole life.”

Beneficiary

“You’re not a home wrecker if she’s dead,” I whisper repeatedly, digging my nails into the armrest.

“First time on a plane?” He kissed the corner of my mouth, pressed his thumb against my chin, turned my head and met my lips again. “The hardest part’s the take-off.”

“How can you be so calm? This is her jet. Her casket’s—” I shivered under the A/C vent suddenly blowing out cold air in the dead of winter.

He pinched my lips together. “After the funeral, we’ll fly straight to Belize, make our life there. Everything else gets buried with her tomorrow.”

word count: 100

—Nortina


© Melanie Greenwood
© Melanie Greenwood

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly challenge where you must write a story in 100 words or less using the provided photo prompt as inspiration. Click the froggy icon to ready other stories and add your own.

Taking Flight

“Have you ever thought about killing yourself?” Barry hung his head over the railing so that his shaggy, blond hair fell over his face.

Carla spread her arms, twirled in a circle. “We have waterfalls in front of us.” She pointed to the thin ribbon of foam cascading down the side of the mountain. “Waterfalls below us.” She dropped to her knees, lay flat on her stomach, pressed her ears onto the wood planks to listen to the thundering rush of falling water below. “If anyone’s thinking of jumping, it’s because they hope to fly over and see more of this beautiful paradise.”

“I prefer the ugliness of life. Broken bodies, brains splattered all over rocks.”

“I never took you for suicidal.” Carla leaned backwards over the railing to become level with his eyes.

“I’m not.” He shoved his palm into her chest, her feet kicking the air as she disappeared under the bridge.

He listened for a splash, the cracking of bones. He only felt a gust of wind as thick wings flapped overhead.

word count: 175

—Nortina


Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers is a weekly challenge where you write a story in 100-150 words (give or take 25 words) using the provided photo prompt as inspiration.

Click on the froggy icon to read other stories and add your own!

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Elope

Delphine always wanted to pilot her father’s plane and when he forgot his keys on her tenth birthday, she knew that taking off would be easy.

Brock leaned against the doors of the barn housing the small single-engine aircraft, his plaid shirt half-tucked inside his jeans. He crossed one boot over the other, twisted his tongue around a toothpick. Delphine’s pulse raced as she imaged his tongue meeting hers, dancing together inside her mouth as they flew over the flat plains of Kansas, away from her daddy’s farm.

“You can’t come with me.” He pushed her back. His hand on her chest caused her heart to flutter.

“I can fly it!”

“Look, Del, maybe when you turn 16, things’ll be different, but right now, you’re just a kid.”

“Do little kids wear bras?” She lifted her shirt, exposing thin, half-moon cloths covering her flat chest.

“Geez, are you trying to get me a rape charge!” Grimaced, he yanked the hem of her shirt down to her hips. “Look out for your Pop, will ya?”

word count: 148

—Nortina


Mondays Finish the Story: a flash fiction challenge where we provide you with a new photo each week, and the first sentence of a story. Your challenge is to finish the story using 100-150 words, not including the sentence provided.

Click the froggy icon to read other stories and add your own.

2015-07-13-bw-beacham

 

Finish It! #20: The Aisle Passenger

Finally! Boarding time! She made her way to her seat and stowed her carry on away. As much as she loved traveling she was not keen on this 12 hour flight. She sat down and fastened her seat belt, wondering who would sit next to her. After a quick look out the tiny window she started scanning the other passengers entering the plane, wondering who would eventually sit down next to her. She glanced out the window again and observed the busy world out there. Then someone sat down next to her.

His phone was attached to his ear. He nearly whopped me in the face as he slung his duffel bag off his shoulder and slid it underneath the seat in front of him. He slammed down the arm rest and leaned his back against it. I could see the sharp outlines of his shoulder blades through the thin white t-shirt he wore. His long dreadlocks were tied in a ponytail at the nape of his neck and cascaded down his back like a horse’s tail of black licorice.

Towards the center aisle he yelled out, “Call the police, bitch! They’ll take one look at you and know I never laid a finger on you, or my son!” His licorice tail swished side to side, swatting away my fingers as I attempted to tap his shoulder. He held the phone in front of his face, snaking his head, pointing his finger, and if he were face-to-face with the woman on the other end.

The other passengers stared, and I cowered into the corner between the window and chair, willing myself invisible, praying the other passengers wouldn’t think we were together, that I was his next domestic victim, and on the phone, the bitter ex. We can’t control who they sell plane tickets too. Luck of the draw, I projected into their minds. As a child, I believed I was a telepath. I closed my eyes, scrunched my face, and compelled others to say what I was thinking. My sister often told me she could hear my voice in her head. Even when I wasn’t trying, she’d tell me to stop, screaming there wasn’t enough room in her brain for the two of us.

She should’ve been in the seat next to me instead of this Rasta man. I wanted to do something special for her birthday, take her to see the Wimbledon Championships in London. But her favorite tennis player had recently pulled out of the tournament with a wrist injury. He couldn’t serve a 130mph ball with a broken wrist, she’d told me. I tried to convince her to come anyway. She would still get to watch the top players up close and personal, enjoy the prestige of the sport’s most sophisticated Major, maybe even see the queen or Kate Middleton. For the love of God, it’s London! Who wouldn’t want to enjoy a city with such history?

I turned to the dread head who was still arguing into his phone despite the pilot’s announcement to turn off all electronic devices. “All you women are the same. You get mad when a man doesn’t want your crazy ass no more, and the first thing you do is take it out on the kids!”

I had the money to buy her ticket. I’d even prepped her mind the night before, sending my dreams across the train tracks to her downtown apartment. Dreams of our squeezing each other’s hands as the plane took off, once in London, speaking in fake British accents and complaining how America ruined the language with it’s y’alls and ain’ts, having drinks with one of the lower ranked tennis players in a historic English pub.

“Excuse me, sir, we’re preparing to take-off,” the stewardess said with a smile, though her eyes were fearful that he would, in response, direct his anger toward her.

He nodded and shifted to face the seat in front of him. I could hear the high-pitched voice of the woman on the phone, like a frantic mouse caught in a trap.

“That’s the damn flight attendant, dumb ass.” He pulled the phone from his ear, as if yanking out a connecting cord, and hung up. As he leaned to his left to put the phone in his pocket, he looked at me and smirked.

“Girl problems?” I asked.

“We’ve all been there, right?”

My mind drifted back to my sister, who left me confined to a window seat for 12 hours next to a man whose hair looked like candy but probably tasted as bitter as his attitude and his bitter ex-girlfriend who would probably try to call back some time during the flight, and he’d answer, ignoring airplane policy, calling her a bitter bitch, accusing her of using their children as crutches to smite him, and in listening, I would find myself growing bitter, tempted to knock on the skull of my sister with my voiceless words and tell her she chose a 12 inch TV inside of a tight studio apartment over top of a shut down strip club over Wimbledon and me and a birthday in London, and I’d tell her not expect me to do another thing special for her other than crowd her brain the way she hated when we were kids with 12 hours of licorice candy, battered women and children, and bitter custody battles until she fell asleep in front of a blank television screen and static.

—Nortina


So, I just noticed how this story quickly switched to first person, haha! I’m not going back to change it. 😉

Written for Finish It! #20. Click here to read other stories and add your own!