I don’t feel the earth breathing. Mid-spring, and everything around us is dead. We were barely living anyway, surviving on malt liquor that singed pathways down our throats. Now we crave alcohol to clear away the sludge lining the walls of our esophagus from the oil we drink in our water.

Standing Rock is deserted. Most Lakota have crossed the border into Canada, where they are more respectful of our sacred lands, where the ground isn’t sterilized by the rust of metal—thunderous pipelines that extend for miles.

I’ve stayed behind, me and Chief. Day after day, we pray for Wakan Tanka, Great Spirit, to heal us of this invasive snake, which occupies our home and drains her of all signs of life. While walking the Plains, we discover gallons of crude venom has spilled from an open sore and permeated the ancient graves.

The hope we hold onto still resides, but it thins even more, as the fuel driven noose around our necks tightens, choking us to death.


Sunday Photo Fiction: Skull Tattoo

Johnathan knew there was something different about Majorie when he saw the skull and crossbones inked across her lower back as he bent her over the bed. For a girl with such a pretty name, there was nothing pretty about her. She had black flames tattooed on her arms. Her hair was jet black and cut short into an uneven bob. Her eyes were naturally green, but she only wore black contacts. When he asked her if she was Goth, she frowned at him.

“Why would you say that?” she asked.

He wasn’t sure how to respond, so he let it go. He honestly didn’t care what she was or what bizarre phase she was going through. Their relationship was purely sexual.

Johnathan traced the lines of the image on her back with the tips of his fingers. “Are you a pirate?” he asked.

“Mmmm,” she moaned. “I’ve been a bad, bad pirate. Make me walk your plank.” She arched her back.

Johnathan wrapped his hands around the front of her thighs and pulled her closer to him. Back and forth, they rocked on the edge of the bed. Johnathan tilted his head back and let Majorie’s dirty words motivate him.

“Your plank is so hard. Beat me with it!”

He moved faster. As he approached orgasm, he looked down to watch his finished work, and instead he saw the skull moving, it’s eye sockets squinting, the mouth in the shape of an O, as if he were fucking it and not Majorie.

Johnathan fell back, hit his head on the the edge of the dresser. Majorie turned around to the commotion behind her, and all he saw were her eyes, missing the whites, black as coal.

Word Count: 287


This post is part of Sunday Photo Fiction & yes it is over 200 words. 😦 Writing flash fiction is actually much harder than it sounds.