Larger-Than-Life, Smaller in Truth ~ prosery

Larger-Than-Life, Smaller in Truth

Pen poised above his notepad, the correspondent had stopped taking notes shortly after the president started speaking. He sat at the White House press briefing, confident that little more than inflated accomplishments and no real news would be heard as he thought back on the president’s briefings for the past four years. As he had always done, the president spoke as if campaigning for re-election, loudly proclaiming that nothing that comes from the media is anything more than “fake news,” while little truth could be found in anything that left his own lips.

As the president left the podium and his fellow reporters rose from their chairs, he thought, “From across the room, we look at him through the wrong end of the long telescope of Time. With that telescope reversed, the future will recognize him for the small man that he truly is.”

This bit of flash fiction is my response to Prosery: Telescope of Time, presented by Kim at dVerse ~ Poets Pub. With Prosery, the challenge is to write a piece of flash fiction with a 144-word limit. Included in the bit of prose is to be a complete line from a poem. My flash fiction also meets the additional challenge of hitting the 144-word mark, exactly.
For this prompt, the line to be included is from “Humming Bird,” by D.H. Lawrence. (the complete poem can be found here)

“From across the room, we look at him through the wrong end of the long telescope of Time”      – D.H. Lawrence

Image source: Politico / Getty
(edited here)

Moonlit Dreams ~ prosery

Moonlit Dreams

My parents experienced difficult times in their final days, and it was easy to see they were most at peace when they were asleep. At the time, I truly believed: In their dreams, they sleep with the moon.

The loss of both came far too early. My father’s early retirement due to health concerns meant that, rather than winding down to retirement, he was left with troubled years that ended well before he could reach true retirement age. I know my mother pined for him for the next fifteen years. As her own health failed, and with it her memory, I imagined that, in her dreams, he would return to her on a moonlit night.

These days, in my own dreams, they never sleep. I trust they would want their time together to be waking moments. Even in dreams, each moment is truly precious.

This bit of flash fiction is my response to Prosery Monday: Moonbeams and Moon Dreams, presented by Merril at dVerse ~ Poets Pub. With Prosery, the challenge is to write a piece of flash fiction with a 144-word limit. Included in the bit of prose is to be a complete line from a poem. My flash fiction also meets the additional challenge of hitting the 144-word mark, exactly.
For this prompt, the line to be included is from “Death at Wind River,” by Mary Oliver. (the complete poem can be found here)

“In their dreams
they sleep with the moon.”

                              – Mary Oliver

Long Time Coming ~ prosery

Long Time Coming

When it is over, said, and done, it was a time and there was never enough of it. It’s a wonder that it lasted as long as it had when we were never able to truly communicate. Even when we started out, our needs were never the same, but neither of us understood there was never any way either of us would change the other.

We would never get any more from it than we had. Opposites may attract, but the simple truth is that time catches up, and we had to accept that the prospect of reward was long gone from our relationship. The one long-lasting reward, of course is our children. That can never be taken from us. But comfort and satisfaction from each other will never be ours, and it was time to recognize that.

It was time to move on.

This bit of flash fiction is my response to Prosery Monday: A Time, presented by Merril at dVerse ~ Poets Pub. With Prosery, the challenge is to write a piece of flash fiction with a 144-word limit. Included in the bit of prose is to be a complete line from a poem. My flash fiction also meets the additional challenge of hitting the 144-word mark, exactly.
.For this prompt, the line to be included is from “A Time,” by Allison Adelle Hedge Coke. (the complete poem can be found here)

“when it is over said and done
it was a time
               and there was never enough of it.”

                              – Allison Adell Hedge Coke

Image source: Anne & Saturnino Miranda from Pixabay (edited here)

Armageddon’s Arrival – prosery

 

Armageddon’s Arrival

I drift down the middle of the river, my paddle in the water only when necessary to navigate past hazards. And oh, are there hazards. Surrounded by the past, ablaze on the shores beside me and floating on the current that carries me, with little prospect for the future, my life is little more than the clothes on my back and as bleak as the landscape of death surrounding me.

Of what matter are the details that led to this tragic moment? One nation acted out of a desire to secure precious resources, another responded, and an Armageddon foretold through the ages has finally come to pass.

In the glow of the fires that surround me, everything is cloaked in the haze of smoke, and navigation becomes more difficult as dusk approaches. A red moon rides on the humps of the low river hills.

This bit of flash fiction is my response to Jazzing It up on Prosery Monday, presented by Lillian at dVerse ~ Poets Pub. With Prosery, the challenge is to write a piece of flash fiction with a 144-word limit. Included in the bit of prose is to be a complete line from a poem. For this prompt, the line to be included is “a red moon rides on the humps of the low river hills” from Carl Sandburg’s “Jazz Fantasia”. My flash fiction also meets the additional challenge of hitting the 144-word mark, exactly. Other entries can be read here.

Down in Flames ~ prosery

Down in Flames

We go in different directions down the imperturbable street, but how long can that be true? We carry the same signs, chant the same words calling for justice in a world too long without, but your way is far different than ours. They may be louder, but your words ring hollow. Your goal is to incite, giving you the freedom to wreak havoc while others pay.

Even then, your motives are clouded. Is it anarchy, a wish to overthrow the establishment as so many claim, or is it merely an opportunity to loot and vandalize, damn the very people we march to protect? Actions such as yours only solidify the hatred in the narrow minds we try so hard to change, guaranteeing our defeat.

You throw your first flaming bottle, a window breaks, and I know the streets will never be the same again.

This bit of flash fiction is my response to Prosery Monday: Different Directions, presented by Merril at dVerse Poets Pub. With Prosery, the challenge is to write a piece of flash fiction with a 144-word limit. Included in the bit of prose is to be a complete line from a poem. For this prompt, the line to be included is “We go in different directions down the imperturbable street,” from “An Aspect of Love, Alive in the Ice and Fire,”  by Gwendolyn Brooks.  My flash fiction also meets the additional challenge of hitting the 144-word mark, exactly.  Other entries can be read here.

Image source: foxbusiness.com

The Dark Truth ~ prosery

The Dark Truth

A boy walks down the middle of a Chicago street at night, until he doesn’t, his bullet riddled body lying on the line between law enforcement and civility. A Chicago woman is caged for contrived circumstances during a traffic stop in Texas, bars the last thing she sees before her life ends. A man jogging down the road, alone in a time when gatherings are discouraged, is confronted by two men in a pickup truck, three shotgun blasts their deliverance of Georgia justice for the crime of being black.

There is fiction in the belief that this will end anytime soon. For each, the one thing darker than their skin is the darkness of times that never seem to end. To see the truth, imagine any past leader of color and know that, with each of these, his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream.

Although far from fiction, this is my response to Prosery: Maya Angelou, presented by Björn at dVerse ~ Poets Pub. With Prosery, the challenge is to write a piece of flash fiction with a 144-word limit. Included in the bit of prose is to be a complete line from a poem. For this prompt, the line to be included is “his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream” from Maya Angelou’s “Caged Bird.” I didn’t feel I could write fiction worthy of the weight of Maya Angelou’s full poem, but this does meet the additional challenge of hitting the 144-word mark, exactly.

Frigid Delirium ~ prosery

Frigid Delirium

The lights of my cabin far behind me, I search in conditions that favor no one and no thing, on a night that holds nothing but a wall of cold shifting amid howling winds.

As I plod ahead, all is disjointed, whiteouts removing any context from my surroundings. The bitterness of cold stings my face and wraps my body in a blanket that saps, rather than strengthening me. The dull ache that grips my fingers and toes means something. Something.

Direction no longer has any meaning. Left could be right, and forward seems irrelevant. My venture now seems pointless, any reason for following this course now lost to me.

Wondering if I’ll ever know again the warmth of a flaming hearth, I wade through the knee-deep snow, suddenly stepping into nothing as the snow closes around me. A cow is screaming across the arroyo.

This bit of flash fiction is my response to Prosery #7: Jim Harrison, presented by Linda at dVerse ~ Poets Pub. With Prosery, the challenge is to write a piece of flash fiction with a 144-word limit. Included in the bit of prose is to be a complete line from a poem. For this prompt, the line to be included is “A cow is screaming across the arroyo.” from Jim Harrison’s “Cow.” My flash fiction also meets the additional challenge of hitting the 144-word mark, exactly.

Better, Alone ~ prosery

Better, Alone

There’s always been a lonely place, but light would enter from the periphery, and that was good.

It appeared that all was well, but the words did not always agree, and insistence otherwise did not change the imbalance hinted at by those words.

Eventually, things righted themselves, and the lonely place was not so lonely. This is not so unusual, once one has opened the doors to the outside world.

And the words reflected this. They held light and possibility.

But just as there is darkness inside, there is outside, and it has let itself in, has become a reminder of that original darkness. And so, the doors are closing. The lonely place may be more confining, but smaller is better, more insular. The better to wallow in one’s darkness.

So these words would say. If it’s darkness we’re having, let it be extravagant.

This bit of flash fiction is my response to Prosery: Meet Jane Kenyon, presented by Victoria at dVerse. With Prosery, the challenge is to write a piece of flash fiction with a 144-word limit. Included in the bit of prose is to be a complete line from a poem. For this prompt, the line to be included is “If it’s darkness we’re having, let it be extravagant” from Jane Kenyon’s “Taking Down the Tree.” My flash fiction also meets the additional challenge of hitting the 144-word mark, exactly.

On Visiting Lost Waters ~ prosery

On Visiting Lost Waters

It was his heart that took him away, but his heart still missed the waters flowing through a canyon of green that would explode with color when the first frost found its home in leaves that could bring light to the grayest day.

Trails that bordered the rim of the majestic gorge and paths that descended to follow the shore of the winding river had called to him often over the years, and many were the times he had answered that call.

But love had taken him to a distant place, and years had passed since last his footsteps had fallen in this forest, since his eyes had seen the splendor of the river’s descent, and his face had felt the mist rising from the falls.

Sadly, with these thoughts on this brief visit, he knew these memories were left here with the trees.

Prosery is a form devised at dVerse, and the challenge is to write a piece of flash fiction with a 144-word limit (144 words, here). Included in the bit of prose is to be a complete line from a poem. With Prosery: Memories with the Trees from Merril, the line to be included is “These memories were left here with the trees” from Joy Harjo’s “How to Write a Poem in a Time of War.”  While that poem speaks of the lost or stolen beauty of a homeland, my piece describes Letchworth State Park, a place I often visited when I lived in Western New York (revisited this past week).

Image
Middle and Upper Falls – Genesee River at Letchworth State Park, Portageville, New York
~ left: 09 Sept 2019 & right: 19 Oct 2010 (note the old train bridge in 2010 photo) ~
(click image for larger view in new tab)

Total Cleansing ~ prosery

Total Cleansing

Remember when you felt good about yourself, a time when you had no doubts about your abilities, your value to others, or the value of those around you? That part of you is not lost. It lives within you, still, and the time has come for you to recognize that.

Take a moment to breathe. In. Out. Slowly. Now, think about who you are, who you can be. The negative energy that has been feeding into you has poisoned your mind, masking who were. Let it wash away from you so that you may remember who you have been, recognize who you really are, and you will love again the stranger who was yourself.

Remember all of this as you enter the polling place with a clear conscience, determined to remove that toxic presence from the Oval Office. Don’t let yourself be fooled again.

This bit of flash fiction is my response to Prosery #3: Love After Love, presented by Kim at dVerse. With Prosery, the challenge is to write a piece of flash fiction with a 144-word limit. Included in the bit of prose is to be a complete line from a poem. For Prosery #3, the line to be included is “You will love again the stranger who was yourself” from Derek Walcott’s “Love After Love.” My flash fiction also meets the additional challenge of hitting the 144-word mark, exactly.

Image source: Tulsa World (Bruce Plante)