Autumn Falls with a Thump

Autumn falls with a thump, grinding summer’s greens underfoot, transforming the colour palette to shades of reds and oranges and yellows. Gone, the delicacies of fragrant blooms and soft, sweet fruits, the barefoot lightness of living, those heady days and heated nights of naked sleeping. Jumpers pulled from draws become a necessity. While shiny brown conkers slowly replace those unfulfilled rows of green tomatoes occupying windowsills in an attempt to ward off the marching spiders.

Published on http://www.paragraphplanet.com Aug 2017

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Quiet Conversations Of The Dead

I recall the flaunted fragrance of summer, the plum, the dog-wood, the apple-blossoms, the bright sun through leaves, the budded lilac, the bloomed garden’s flower, the mound of colour. I recall soft orange earth where tall green weeds writhed restlessly in the full south wind, and pale ghosts fed slant stones in graveyards quiet conversations of the dead underneath shattered moonlight. And I recall heart-shaped souls singing verses of blue-purple grief amid wind-beaten puffs of silver clouds and brighter-than-white moon, their songs charging with the swollen river to a forgotten bay over the sea.

Jigsaw Cut-up Project  https://verstype.com

When The First Drops Fell

When the first drops fell everyone ran from the shelter, faces skyward, mouths open, overdue precipitation dispensing hope with a dose of relief. The heat had been unbearable. Rainwater sizzled on contact, haphazardly hitting our discarded vehicles, scorched earth soaking up what missed, greedily drinking it all. Then, as quickly as it arrived, the rain stopped. We watched clouds drift away wondering how long before we saw their like again, lingering petrichor filling the air.

Published on http://www.paragraphplanet.com July 2017

Close Scrapes With Death

When life scrapes against death
leaving you in a constant
cycle of recuperation and illness,
and those stalactite tears
hanging from your eyes
become hardened by circumstance,
and the fight against darkness
drains your soul,
picking your bones clean,
leaving you incapable
of keeping someone alive
by sheer willpower alone,
you will realise
there is no end in sight,
no use in reaching for hope,
and that’s the black-and-white of it.

 

First published on http://visualverse.org 2017

So Damn Hot

It was so damn hot.

My t-shirt stuck to my skin.

I remember my brother in his shorts, plasters across both knees.

Dad had a fan in his office so we snuck inside to cool ourselves while he worked. He soon shooed us off when two men arrived.

We raced each other to the auditorium. Light slipped through the blinds casting patterns across the rows. Mucking about, we jumped from seat to seat, until, exhausted, we flopped down letting the red velvet absorb our sweat.

That’s when we heard it.

A crack so loud it made us start. My brother turned to me, questions etched all over his face. I couldn’t answer. My stomach was in my mouth. I’d heard the sound before.

“Let’s go and play on the stage” I whispered.

I told him we were going to play hide-and-seek; told him to get behind the curtain. He looked confused when I didn’t leave him but didn’t say anything. We hid for ages — me too scared to go and investigate.

“Well, what have we got here?” a man said.

I froze. My brother didn’t. He poked his head outside the curtain.

I willed him to run, but he just stood there looking up in the direction of the voice. All I could see was a pair of men’s shoes splattered with red. I didn’t want to contemplate what it might be. I wanted to grab my little brother and get the hell out of there.

“What we gonna do with him, Jed?”

A shot reverberated around the room.

My brother crumpled to the floor.

“I told you, no names,” I heard as I edged away.

The only time I slowed was when I passed Dad’s sprawled body. His face was gone, his white shirt turned red.

I kept on running. I’m still running now.

 

Published on http://trainlitmag.weebly.com and as part of the FlashFlood on National Flash-Fiction Day 2017

Listen

Listen, the river is burbling. It is lapping the bank. Back and forth. Back and forth; tidal. A moving ribbon threading through landscape towards the estuary. Carrying sunlight kisses dispersed across its surface. Across the patchwork of light and shade thrown as you please over the rippling water. Water racing clouds urged on by the breeze. The same breeze brushing your face, whispering in your ear, tangling up your hair, transporting your thoughts to somewhere.

 

Published on http://www.paragraphplanet.com June 2017

Nocturnal Creatures

I was always a nocturnal creature. I would sneak out of my bedroom late at night to explore. I especially loved the moonlight. The way it shone across the trees, casting odd shapes and shadows, replacing all colour with blacks and greys. I remember the first time I saw an owl, wings outstretched, swooping silently on its prey, claws grabbing hold. I watched in awe as it disappeared from sight. The second time I followed.

 

Published on http://www.paragraphplanet.com May 2017

Memories

Do you remember our hotel? How you always insisted on room service? How we waited until dusk before strolling hand in hand along the deserted beach? How you wore that silly hat?
Well, I remember rushing to your side when you collapsed, sitting by your hospital bed — meeting your wife.

 

Published on https://fiftywordstories.com  Nov. 2015