Through A Glass Darkly

He had wanted to be a hero, not the villain.

That didn’t really matter now, though, as he was firmly (seemingly) on the opposing side of to the angels.

It’s not like anyone would believe him anyway should he ever speak out and try to clear his name. He wasn’t the first to be in this position and he likely wouldn’t be the last, but that was a cold comfort if it gave any comfort at all.

Which it didn’t.

“Is there any point to asking you why you’ve turned your back on our family? On everything we’ve taught you?” his father asked, his mother a silent wraith next to him as they stared at one another from across the courtyard.

“Would you believe anything I say?” he countered.

His mother snorted while his father cast an unhappy glance sideways at his wife, but said nothing against her coming words, “No one would trust the word of a traitor.”

“And yet you have trusted the word of a coward.” he snapped back.

His mother’s face twisted, destroying the illusion of gentility as a sneer painted itself across her face. “Once again, we have to trust the word of a traitor in order to believe what you have to say about that so-called ‘coward.'”

Adam closed his eyes against her face. He hadn’t ever expected her face to look like that while it was pointed in his direction. Oh, he had seen it several times in the past, when he was a child and then a young man, but always from a distance and never to him personally.

He missed seeing her smiles, and it was likely that he would only ever see them again in his life through a glass darkly.

Well, it wasn’t like one didn’t have to leave behind their childhood at some point.

But, he thought to himself as he left his childhood home, It usually didn’t mean that you literally left everyone and everything you knew as a child because you were no longer welcome.

Adam just had to keep reminding himself that it would all work out in the end.

He didn’t know if he could bear the thought that it could turn out any different from what he hoped at the moment without breaking.

He couldn’t afford to break.

No one could afford to have him break at a time like this.

There was too much still left to do.

His father watched him leave, not going back into their home with his wife until the sight of his eldest son’s back was no longer visible.

The elderly gentleman was so very tired of all this and he had not wanted  his son to have to follow this path, though he would never be able to share his suspicions with anyone.

Not even with his wife, who felt such things far more deeply than he did.

“I hope that you will stay safe, son.” he whispered to the empty landscape in front of his eyes.


Response to this Light and Shade Challenge.

Desolation

The building was abandoned, but that wasn’t anything new. Most of the buildings available in this town were abandoned and it really should stop surprising me, but I guess it’s because I can remember when this town was full to the brim. Every inch available within The Valley (because even now I can’t help but think of it as The Valley rather than using the name it was given) converted into something of use for the humanity that was contained within it.

But I was surprised when I found signs that no one had been there since the last time I had darkened the floors with my own shadow.

I was always surprised and not just because it was one of the few defense mechanisms I had left to keep my mind from losing what little sanity still remained hidden within its dark corners-

“Are you done?”

She jumped slightly, just managing to stop herself from toppling the chair she sat in to the ground, taking her along with it.

“Don’t do that!” she snapped once she was certain that all four legs were firmly upon the ground.

He held up his hands and backed up a few steps to appease her. “I just wanted to know how things were coming.”

She took a deep breath, “It’s coming along fine.” She tried to keep her voice even, but knew that she failed when something like sympathy crept into his eyes.

She didn’t need his sympathy or pity or whatever it was that he wanted to emote all over her. She would finish the manuscript with plenty of time before the deadline and she would finish it masterfully.

Just because she hadn’t even reached the halfway point and she was strung so tightly from stress and sugar and not seeing the sun for days, if not weeks

“Just let me know if you need a break or anything.” he commented before going to leave the room. He stopped just before he was out of sight, but didn’t turn around before saying, “Dinner should be ready in an hour or so, we’d really like it if you were able to join us.”

She said nothing, but watched as his shoulders sagged briefly before continuing on his way.

She blinked a few moments before turning back to the word document in front of her and taking up position once again.

She would finish this thing and then she’d have all the time in the world to spend with her family.

(She didn’t remember, couldn’t remember, just how much she missed them when she had so much work left to do.)

(If only she didn’t feel just as alone as her protagaonist physically was then maybe she would be able to remember just why she had started to write in the first place.)


No, this is not based on anything in real life, it’s just what came once I started typing.

This was written in response to the Light and Shade Challenge weekly challenge. I haven’t written for this challenge in quite a while for different reasons and when I decided to check it out today on an off thought I decided that this would be what I was writing today.

Apology

I’m sorry that I said that
I really, truly am
I didn’t mean to hurt you
Please take me as I am.
 
Those thoughts and words
Became more than just that
They hurled right at you
Hitting with accuracy, SPLAT!
 
I was so frustrated
I didn’t stop to think
And said some things I now regret
So quickly I could not blink.
 
So please don’t remember
The things I said this day
And hopefully those tears
I can help to wipe away.
 

Ran through my head the moment I read the quote for the Third Monday prompt from Light and Shade Challenge.

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
–Mahatma Gandhi

Behind the Class

The first time she managed to complete the assigned work she was on cloud nine. She had never managed to get this particular part of math no matter how many times she’d read through the exercises in the book or the explanations she found there. The teacher hadn’t been able to help very much because she was a substitute until they found another math teacher to cover for the suddenly retired one from the first two quarters of the year.

It was kind of embarrassing how easily everyone else picked up graphing and she hadn’t when it had typically been the other way around for most of her life.

That didn’t mean she’d given up, just that she’d tried harder at this than just about anything else she’d ever done in her life.

So when she finally got enough answers right on the graphing assignment for that week, she felt pretty justified in the permanent smile that stayed plastered to her face the rest of the day.


Inspired by the quote from the Light and Shade Challenge this week.

A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a five year old child
–Groucho Marx

Hindsight

There are days when I wonder if I will ever find peace.

Days when I sit and stare out the window and know that this will not last long.

Everything in my life has come at a price. At first, the price did not seem high; I simply had to leave home and though I would miss my brother and miss the trees of my youth, I knew that the life that was laid out before me was worth the cost.

How foolish those days seem now in hindsight.

I thought that he would hold me gently in his hands like the bird he’d been quickly whispering to when I first saw him. I was wrong. Oh, how I was wrong.

I look around at the cage I’m in and I know that it’s not even a gilded one to keep me safe in the comfort of my captivity.

If only I could go back in time and stop myself from letting him take me in his hand.

But I can’t.

There are things that my kind can do, crossing time and the space between one world and another is one of them, but to change our own timestream is something that I cannot do. I cannot go back to myself because it would do nothing. I would be invisible to myself and unable to make any kind of action that would change what has already happened.

My brother used to tell me stories about those that tried to change their own past and it never worked. They couldn’t even find a loophole to do so through another person. It just wouldn’t happen, no warnings or moves that could cause my doom to be turned from me. I couldn’t even go back and affect his timestream because that would affect my own.

I could do nothing about the past, about my past, but I could try and do something about my future. I can travel away from here should I be able to harness my own abilities in such a way that he doesn’t detect. He keeps close watch on my energies and everything that I can do. He makes things from my blood and my abilities. Makes himself rich and powerful while I am left with only enough to survive through the day and then the night.

My words have been silenced as there isn’t even enough in me to be able to speak words of power to focus what little life force I have to escape.

My husband certainly did his research before he captured his ‘pretty little bird.’

This little bird will peck her own eyes out if it will help me escape. I have seen enough animals gnaw their paws off in order to escape when necessary. I may hold the shape of a human but I am just as wild as the birds beyond my barred window.


This was actually a little work hat I started several months ago, but hadn’t been able to finish. I was inspired to finish it by the picture prompt from the First Monday prompt for the Light and Shade Challenge. Sorry it’s kind of depressing, but this little story universe is really sad in my head.

image: courtesy of Wiki commons, taken by monica navarro aranda and used under the Creative Commons Agreement

 

Embarrassment

So often we forget ourselves
Totally lose sight of our age
Until we realize with a start
“Please forget I just did that!
I can’t believe I forgot!
Don’t look at me, cover your eyes!”
 
Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege
Anon

This was inspired by the Light and Shade Challenge.

Why Not Laugh

If we couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane
–Jimmy Buffet
Witnesses wondered
How they kept going
Yet there were nothing but smiles
 

Today I’m grateful for the ability to laugh at myself. I honestly don’t know how I would have gotten through life without it.

Check out the original Thankful Thursday or the Light and Shade Challenge for this week as they both inspired this little thought.

More Than A Way To Travel

 

image: courtesy of Wiki Commons and in the Public Domain

Sea winds cause my hair to billow
Even as I shut my eyes
To take in the scent and sounds,
 
Salt finds its way into every thing
And the taste permeates my mouth at all times.
I find that I don’t mind as much,
Loving the ocean more than makes it up.
 

Inspired by the Third Monday prompt from Light and Shade Challenge.

No Envy In Her Eyes

Star did not envy her sister even as she watched from afar. This was the life that Star had chosen just as this was the life that her sister had chosen. What worked for one half of their once whole did not work for the remaining part.

They were very different and not just in their choices.

Star didn’t need to be close enough to see the careworn look on her sister’s face nor the wrinkles acquired through laughter and sorrow. Her own face was line-free and as smooth as if she was going through puberty for the first time, though without the curse of blemishes that many teenagers lamented over. Her hair was bright, thick and full while her sister’s was thinning slightly and going grey at the temples.

The biggest difference about her sister was the joy in her face and the light in her eyes. Star smiled her own, though it was wistful.

She had no way of knowing that her sister would change so drastically when she left at the end of the day. Star didn’t know that in the weeks to come her sister would have to file for divorce and separate from her husband. She wouldn’t know that this was a facade to protect her sister and her nephews. Star didn’t know that her sister’s husband (the divorce was never supposed to be finalized in their scheme to protect their sons) would die in the following months because of corporate corruption and crime.

It was just as well that Star didn’t know any of this or she would have never left and a greater harm would have found her sister’s family.


This was inspired by the Light and Shade Challenge for this last week.

Envy can be a positive motivator. Let it inspire you to work harder for what you want.
Robert Bringle

Average Guard Soldier

It had been a long time since she had heard from anyone and she often wondered if everything was going well in other parts of the Confederation of Systems. She was tired and parts of her ached in ways that would continue for the rest of her natural life however long that may be. (She was serving in the Solar Corp during a widespread war, her life could end within the next twenty minutes or she could, somehow, survive and live another forty years)

She wasn’t set to meet up with her commanding officer until that night when her current shift was over and though it was only within the next hour or so that it would happen she still felt that it was taking longer. She had only the barest of clock-calendars as she wasn’t high up enough in her regiment to require more exact measurements of time and place even if her equipment was better than it had been when she was just a foot soldier instead of a perimeter guard. She was kind of glad that she’d received even a small promotion, being a guard meant that she didn’t have to ride off into wherever they were sending her for however long. Instead she stayed near one of the camps and kept watch on a rotating basis.

The part of the corps that were usually here were on assignment and weren’t due back until the next morning.

Now if only she could find some way to pass the time without compromising her duties. Maybe those trees near the rock cliff could give her something to do after her shift…

image: Courtesy of Wiki Commons taken by Neovitaha777 and used according to the Creative Commons Agreement

 


This little snippet of writing was inspired by the picture from the Light and Shade Challenge. Today has been a bit of a slow day for me and yet the time is going by incredibly fast.