Not Goodbye

My heart beats unevenly

Only to choke me on my breath

Reality is not my friend now

Taking the small figure in shaking hands

And leaning over the too stillness to cry

Letting parts of prayer soothe the ache

 

The first time I had an animal die on the farm, it wasn’t just one. It was a whole litter of seven little bunnies. I sat and held their mother and cried all over her. I think she took it a lot better than I did, though she let me cry into her soft fur for over thirty minutes after Sissy (dog) had abandoned me for somewhere with less excitement. (Sissy doesn’t take people being upset very well…or at all…she hates crying and yelling with a passion and will leave the house to get away from it if she has to.)

The next three times it happened all I could think about was how I was always the one to find the bunnies after they’d died instead of anyone else.

By the sixth time, it was a goose that had been sick and not adjusting to its new home well.

Each time it happened (bunnies, bunnies, bunnies, goatling, bunnies, chickens, geese, chickens, bunnies, more bunnies, we have a lot of bunnies…) I would wrap the body (except for the goose) in bags and say a small prayer before burying the bodies in the only place available at the time (the garbage, because the ground freezes really hard). I still don’t like it when one of the animals dies, but I know that this life isn’t the end, so that when they die they aren’t vanishing while leaving only a body that will crumble and decay behind. No, they’ve gone somewhere else.

This isn’t the end of it for them, nor is it the end of this for us.

There is more. What we each believe that more is will change, but there is something there and I take comfort in that.

This isn’t a goodbye, just a see you later.

Re-visit of Dungeon Prompt: Mortality and the Human Psyche.

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Healing Love

Hurts amass over time,
I‘d like to think that I more sturdy than most.
Don’t forget that you will always carry
Disaster hiding in plain sight.
Everything has to begin somewhere.
Now will you ignore your scars, or respect them?
 
How is it that you come along
Even when my pains not gone
And hold me safe inside your arms
Letting love heal all my harms.
Even when I shout and cry
Really you are my favorite guy.
 

She wasn’t quite sure how to feel so she just sat there, tears streaming silently down her face. The ring that had held a place of pride on her hand now sat in her hand, the cold of the metal seeming to dull the gem that had previously shined in delight.

The door to her room opened and the pitter-patter of feet moving softly over the carpet came to a halt by her bedside. A plate was placed gently on the end table and the bed dipped as an arm came up and around her shoulders.

She said nothing as a hand gently guided her face onto a stronger shoulder and she cried out her sorrows on the shoulder of her brother.

The pie on the plate sat a silent testament to how well he knew her heart.


Both parts inspired in equal parts from Light and Shade Challenge from yesterday and the Dungeon Prompt from last Thursday.

Once Even I Was A Little Child, And I Was Afraid

Matt hummed softly as he walked down the long hallway, carrying his precious bundle so carefully. Halfway down the hall a door stood open and inside was a bedroom done up in soft warm colors, reds and browns and golds with an occasional touch of blue to offset it. He moved towards the bed which was already turn down, the quilt showing a starburst pattern on it.

Once his little bundle was placed in the bed and tucked in he sat on the edge of the bed and ran a hand through the child’s hair and his humming continued and moved into words.

Little child, be not afraid
The rain pounds harsh against the glass
Like an unwanted stranger
There is no danger
I am here tonight
 

The little girl in front of him smiled and rolled over so that she could peek up at him through her eye lashes, humming along with his little lullaby.

Little child, be not afraid
The thunder explodes
And lightning flash
Illuminates your tear-stained face
I am here tonight
 
And someday you’ll know
That nature is so
This same rain that draws you near me
Falls in rivers and land
On forest and sand
Makes the beautiful world that you see
In the morning
 
Little child, be not afraid
The storm clouds mask your beloved moon
And it’s candle like beams
So keep pleasant dreams
I am here tonight
 
Little child, be not afraid
The wind makes creatures of our trees
And the branches to hands
They’re not real understand
And I am here tonight
 

She frowned slightly, sleepily at the words about the moon. Matt smiled, but kept singing softly. He knew that she’d always preferred the sun or the stars to the moon, but this was the way the song went.

And someday you’ll know
That nature is so
This same rain that draws you near me
Falls in rivers and land
On forests and sand
Makes the beautiful world that you see
In the morning
 
For you know once even I was a little child
And I was afraid
But a gentle someone always came
To dry all my tears
To switch sleep for fears
And to give a kiss goodnight
 

Matt’s voice shook slightly over the previous verse, remembering when his mother would sing him to sleep. The little girl’s eyes had slipped closed by now, but she was still just slightly awake, so Matt carried on.

Well, now I am grown
And these years have shown
The rains a part of how life goes
But it’s dark and it’s late
So I’ll hold you and wait
Until your frightened eyes do close
 
And I hope that you’ll know
That nature is so
This same rain that draws you near me
Falls in rivers and land
On forest and sand
Makes the beautiful world that you see
In the morning
Everything’s fine in the morning
The rain’ll be gone in the morning
But I’ll still be here in the morning
 

After the lyrics had all been sung, Matt continued humming slightly though the little girl was deeply asleep. His hand had long since stopped carding through her dark red hair an sat limply in his lap. His eyes hadn’t stopped watering throughout the ending of the song and tears were still trickling quietly down his cheeks.

Little Mary snuffled softly in her bed, unaware of her silently crying son next to her.


This little snippet is far into the future for this little universe, but it’s been on my mind for a while and I had to write it down.

My mom often sang us to sleep at night, so much so that the first thing I have ever tried to get my nieces and nephews to sleep is some of her songs being sung softly.

Different Phoenix, Different Ending – Reflections Traces Prompt #12

Sometimes she wondered how different life would have been for her had she the power to chose her own outcome. She had loved a man so much, much more than he had ever deserved, though that was something that she had not known until later in their life together. They’d had children, so many children and she thought they’d been happy.

It was only later that she learned there was more to life, their life, that she had not known about.

Her kind were often thought of as a blessing or a curse, depending on who was talking.

To her husband, she had been a blessing both in children, long life and in personal power. Those who came to their home to speak with her husband were always awed by his wife, though it was unintentional on her part. It was just what and who she was.

In many tales, it is said that those of her kind will die and then become reborn from their own ashes, ready to rise once again in glorious fire.

For her, she would die upon an altar, her children and grandchildren and great grandchildren around her and her husband standing over her. In her death, her children, some of whom were very sick, would gain some of her life force and heal from it. She had chosen this. She was old and if her death could have a purpose, then she would be grateful, even if it interfered with the original sequence of her kind’s death.

Her rebirth would happen not right away, but scattered throughout the lifetimes of her descendants. What she hadn’t foreseen was the outcome of that supposed one-time sacrifice. Every death thereafter would further seal her fate to what had once been her family but was now nothing more than her slavers.


Original concept for this particular story is actually a little old. I have some scenes for this story written down somewhere in another collection of shorts. When I saw the Reflections Traces Prompt for this last week, I thought of this story. It has no connection to my other long-standing story in Phoenix ‘Verse.

Ringing Silence

The room was quiet and Mary sat staring out the window. The lights were out and her sons were asleep though she could hear the sounds of Terrence tossing and turning even from down the hall.

A small smile graced her mouth, he had never been a particularly quiet boy.

The smile faded just as easily as it had come, but he was far more guarded then ever before. He hadn’t been happy when his parents had separated. No one had been happy, but it had been necessary for the work that Warren was doing. Matthew hadn’t been happy either, but he hadn’t been as vocal about it as Terrence.

Terrence (Terry as he was more and more insisting on being called) was rather translucent about his feelings though Matt wasn’t far behind. This was the reason (other than their young ages) that the boys hadn’t been told about the plan. They were the children and they had responsible parents, parents who could conscience the idea of putting that kind of pressure on their sons.

They wished this hadn’t been necessary at all.

Mary shook her head, these thoughts wouldn’t help her. She looked down at the black clothing she was still wearing though her shoes had been placed by the door as always. It would be some time before she changed out of these clothes and into a pair of Warren’s sleep clothes, ones that he had left behind when he’d initially moved out.

It was eerie how little like him they smelled.

(She had only been wearing them every night since the separation had begun. The boys hadn’t known as she always went to bed after they did and woke long before they started to stir for the day.)

Once she had changed into the sleep clothes, she reached down to where a pocket in the pants would have been located, her hand seemed to disappear into a pocket though if anyone had looked closely (there was no one else in the bedroom) they would have realized that the pants had no pockets. Once her hand came back out, it was holding a simple golden band. It was larger than the one she still wore on her hand.

Mary slipped it over her thumb and spent the few hours she tried to sleep turning the large ring over and over with the fingers of her right hand.


Inspired by the words from this week’s prompt in Three Word Wednesday.

Life’s Dark Book

Her pale face was the lantern
By which they read in life’s dark book.
-RS Thomas, On The Farm

Mary’s face was pale, well, more pale. Her sons stood next to her in their own black clothing, their faces just as pale as their mother’s, though their tears were more easily seen.

Mary had faced things like death of family all her life, long before she’d ever met or had any of her current family, but she had never been so cut off from her Bond mate.

Her mind was more lonely than it had been even after the sealing of the pathway she shared with her sister. This was different and so much more painful.


Written in response for today’s Light and Shade Challenge, again. But this time I managed to stay within the 100 word limit!

 

Solemn Rejoicing

image: Lyssa Medana

Star watched as the fireworks went off and the people cheered.

The Galactic Chaos War was over.

The troops were all home, the dead were buried, though they were likely still being mourned by all (the number of dead on both sides was too prolific for anyone to be through mourning already) but the pain and sorrow had been set aside by almost all in order to celebrate the ending of the war. Children ran about, bright eyed and with grins splashed across their faces; the thinness of the faces and the worn-out look of their clothes was ignored. The adults smiled and watched, some of them joining the children; the tired set to their shoulders and the darkness around their eyes also not being made note of.

“You are not happy.”

Star said nothing, did not look over to Solaris as the woman moved into the shadows with her Guardian.

Solaris sighed, her eyes sad as they moved from the rejoicing crowd to one of her oldest friends.

“She would not want you to mourn her.”

Star still said nothing, her eyes facing forward but not really seeing the people in front of her, though her eyes continued to remain alert for any danger.

A part of Solaris wondered how her young-looking friend was able to pull that off; the rest of her figured that it was a skill Star had learned during her very long life.

Solaris had only really known Star for a seemingly small amount of time in comparison to how long Star had  existed. During that time, Star had very rarely been this solemn. She was only ever solemn like this when she was thinking about something that in some way related to Comet.

Solaris had no siblings, not blood siblings anyway; she and Serenity were sort of siblings even if they were not actually related and she knew that if anything ever happened to Serenity…

Solaris would never really recover from it.

So she did not push her Guardian, just stood next to her in a show of comfort and support as they watched the people rejoice below.


Written for Light and Shade’s Monday Challenge: http://lightandshadechallenge.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/light-and-shade-challenge-monday-16th.html