February’s Zeroflash Competition Entries

Mother Of The Year

by Chloe Gilholy

@ChloboShoka

“Harry…” Annie Cross whispers, throwing the bouquet on her husband’s grave. “I hope you can forgive me for what I did to our little Romeo.”
She remembers it. She can still visualise the blood in the bathroom – the same blood that stains her blue dress. The torch is her only light in the cemetery but she knows the route to her husband’s grave like the back of her hand.
Slaying her son, the last link to her husband makes her realise that she’s not the holy matron she claims to be. She dedicates her life to church and her Harry served for Queen and country and returned from Iraq in a casket.
“I know me and Romeo always argued, but I didn’t mean to kill him. The devil possessed me!”
She sobs and throws cuddles the tombstone. Their only child’s body lies deep within the earth’s ground. As any sinner, she knows she must pray for forgiveness. She knows she has no place in heaven now, but she still wishes to be a servant of God, the institution that comforts her. She takes a box from out of her pocket. It’s one she found in Romeo’s draw. She opens the box with shaky hands. Her breaths are rapid the moment she sees what’s in it – a ring – an engagement ring.
In her other pocket there’s a letter addressed to Annie. It’s not meant to be opened until Mothering Sunday. “Its ages away,” she hisses to herself. She opens it anyway. It’s what she expects – a card for mothering Sunday. Anna picks up the piece of paper that slips out of the card. A close inspection makes her stomach churn.
Baby scan: its triplets.
She breaks down. Annie’s grandchildren will never meet their father – and it’s all her fault.

Little Reaper

by Kris McGinnis

Shocked was I, as all things said; to find it crouched on the corner of my bed. A defence of befriendment, with false happiness and friendly quotes, won’t save me, as its pale lime skin stretches and cracks to present a mocking grin of gnarled, decayed teeth. But thinking of one saving grace; the pessimist in me knows that all things fail in joyous times. However, scared to move, frozen in fear; I’ve come to realize the purpose of his joyous time.

Playfully excreting acrid prose, he recounts me stories of all things Evil. This smiling, laughing Little Reaper. Crimson splattered hood and eroded scythe won’t cut me down; I’ve survived the night terrors of under the bed monsters and clowns. But I battle alone in this pasty room, with hues of yellow and green; withstanding macabre visions of what’s come before and what’s still to be seen.

And then he’s gone!

Leaving only figments in the phosphenes of closed eyes, I deliberate. Confined with self thought in this garish, ominous space; it dawns on me that I never truly met him face to face. Awash with disorientation, I go searching for the truth. Never seeing, never hearing; what was once said is disbelieving.

But he lurks on the peripheral of conscious moments. Is it because he can tell, that from the darkness we both first fell? He’s always grinning, always laughing; but always just outwith my range.

Whispering that every night, I’ll dream a dream of all things strange.

Means of Notice

by Emily Harrison

It was only when Sally broke her right arm. And left leg. That anyone took notice of her. Life usually gets harder after such a horrific incident. For Sally, it truly began.

Up until then, she was non-existent. It was only when her bone fractured in two places, radius and ulna snapped, tibia taking a short but sharp trip straight into her fibula, that the town stood to attention. It would be hard to miss, trussed up in two lime green casts. Arm and leg set ridged. Body carried in a mobile scooter.

No one quite knew how Sally had come to break her bones. The incident, or perhaps, incidents, were an unknown quantity. Whilst everyone took notice of Sally, and paid her more mind, they didn’t do it out of kindness. More out of intrigue. Curiosity.

As an A&E receptionist, it was also quite comical. To everyone else that is. And where patients, or soon to be patients, regularly gifted Sally the brunt of their frustrations regarding the health care system, with her broken bones, they gave her more consideration. More of a “You look like you belong here,” and less of a “five fucking hours, fuck sake.

When the end of her recovery period came calling, seven weeks, “five fucking hours” made a swift return. So did the sense of utter transparency to the outer world. No longer a spectacle.

Sally decided to break her arm and leg. Again.

Bone still soft. It only took the fell swoop of a claw hammer to knock them out of place.

The recovery period was longer the second time. Nine weeks of existence. Until the tenth week hit.

Sally decided to break her arm and leg. Again.

Eleven weeks. Again.

And then again. And again. And again.

Slug

by Richard A. Shury

The sky is pink, and then, as I approach the station, alien purple. This is not my home, this is a child’s attempt to recreate it. I walk along the platform, as a fat, wet slug grinds its way along the tracks. There are no doors, but I am inside, reclining in a bolt chair, an oxygen mask glued over my mouth and nose. The air it pumps through is sweet, and cool.

Across from me, a man grins. He wears a hat with dangling corks; he reaches up, plucks a cork, and pops it into his mouth like a marshmallow. He offers me one, but I am wearing the mask. The heat of the inside stings my skin, and as the slug begins to move, it only gets hotter. Looking around me, the other passengers seem unconcerned. I notice they all have tiny slugs attached to the back of their necks. Mr Hat grins at me, pulls off a cork, and as he holds it up, it begins to wriggle between his fingers.

I pull off the mask and my lungs burn; I forget to scream. I imagine I am outside and then I am, standing on the station, shivering as the sweat on my body turns cold. In the sky, a whirlpool spins, ferocious, white but flecked with silver. I pull down a tree branch ad launch myself into the air, arms flailing, breakneck speed. I reach for the moon to slow my progress, vault around her, and dive headfirst into the maelstrom, no splash.

The colours cover me as I slide through, and soon I am slick silver, speeding along a tunnel. The sense of movement is gone, and I am drifting. Then I see it. At the end of the tunnel: darkness.

Phantasmagoria

by Donna L Greenwood

@DonnaLouise67

The Walrus is snuffling in my ear and I am freaking out.  I need to get out of here. I want to lift my prone body off the bed and make like a tree and leave. Except the goddamned cobwebs are twisting spinny-like around my ankles and my arms appear to have turned into mangos.  No, not mangos – I’m not insane – pineapples.  The Walrus is trying to speak to me; its words are fluttering in the air around my head. I lift my pineapple arm and grasp one. With a quick snip-snap, I gobble it up and then instantly regret my foolish spontaneity.  It was a lie and lies taste like metal and shit.  Why would the Walrus lie to me? I vomit up the lie and it slithers under the bed.

The Walrus looks suitably ashamed and pulls a string of shiny truths from its gaping maw.  The brightness of these little truth jewels blinds me for a moment.  And then I see. The jewels are angels and they fly around, luminous in this liminal world of bedtime talk.  But these angels of the Walrus have teeth and they fly into my face and nibble at my eyes and ears.  Their teeth are small but they draw blood.  I flap them away with my clunky fruits which are useless against the angels’ sprite-like agility.  Their gnawing is unbearable and I plead with the Walrus to stop.  It relents and the bedroom darkens as it eats up its sheeny-shiny angels one by one.

I turn my back on the Walrus and reach under the bed.  I grab the lie and swallow it whole. It doesn’t taste too bad second time around.

Translator

by Louise James

“I did it!” I breathed, hardly believing my own genius. I need to test it, where’s my lazy dog when I need him.

“Monty, come here” in plodded my 10-year-old slightly obese beagle.

Not wasting a second, I place the blue collar around his neck. Staring at him closely I ask him.

“Monty can you understand me?”

holding my breath, watching him intensely.

He slowly wags his tail but there’s no response.

“Damnit” I was sure I had done it that time, maybe if I move the translator to the left a little, replace the red wire….

“Idiot”

Startled by a different voice in the room I turn, looking for the source. No one here, just me and Monty. I gaze down at him, “was that you?”

“Who else would it be?”

I stumble back, landing on the floor in shock.

“This is what you wanted, wasn’t it?” Monty stands, plodding towards me.

“umm yes, of course this is what I have spent the last 5 years trying to achieve. I just can’t believe I have done it.”

“Well I wouldn’t be to please if I was you, as no one will ever believe you.” Monty was standing over me heavily panting.

“What do you mean? Do you not want to talk to?” I ask him confused, surely this is every dog’s dream as well as pet owners. “You get to talk back to your best friend, me.” I say happily.

“After all the times you forgot to walk me, called me fat and even that weekend you placed beer bottles on my back. I have been waiting to tell you that we are not friends, you have no friends and now that you have figured out how to communicate with the canine species you have to be put down”.

Crumpled Common Psychedelia Fest, 2020.

by Steve Lodge

@steveweave71

 

Crumpled Common & Stormwatch Gazette.

Stop Press Late Edition.

 

  1. July is about to ride into town, bringing with it the annual Crumpled Common Psychedelia Festival. Organisers were put in a spin by the loss of 3 top bands, Marching Black Headphone, Demon Kra and Will Thundersley’s Lockjaw Band all of whom are touring the US or in prison, but there will still be top performers on stage and some new local bands to enjoy.

Regular performer, Rocky Crossing, won’t be there, though. A rehab setback has left Rocky unwell for some time with Savage Torso Poisoning. So… who will perform the traditional festival opener, psychedelic classic, “Scandelay” a song written by Rocky and Isaac Rooster many celestial moons ago, but to this day can still bring on bouts of owl screeching and wind? Watch this space.

Other bands eagerly anticipated this year are Shitpotpoon, Crikey O’Rylingtonstein The Berbooboo, Nomads Of The Sunset (including incredible saxophonist, Wynton Dale) and Barefoot Tacos In September. Errol Carroll and his band, Space Art will also be there with those legendary songstresses, The Nymphettes Of Time, Edna Cartilage and Shirley Control.

  1. The Town Council has invested in event-friendly catering and toilet facilities out on the Common. It is hoped this initiative will help avoid a repeat of last years’ problems of people contracting Trenchfoot and other diseases not known around these parts since World War One.
  2. The weather report suggests visitors to our region bring warm clothing and/or a tent.
  3. An apology.

Several keen-eyed readers wrote in about Madame Dennis St Dennis Astrological Charts.  Madame St Dennis writes “Apologies to those who read my Scorpio prediction last week. There was a typo. It should have read “You will enjoy the most fantastic luck,” and not what was printed.

Tardy

by Niles Reddick

            The boy refused to get in the car and go to kindergarten because he had an erection and it stuck out and could be seen in his khakis.

His mother said it would be fine and said they needed to get going, that maybe it would go away before they got there, but he didn’t believe her and thought he needed to go to the hospital.  He’d had them his whole life up to kindergarten, but he’d never noticed it before.

She didn’t know what to say to him, but she found it humorous, and he didn’t appreciate her giggles. He could be dying. It could be coming off and then he didn’t know how he would go to the restroom.

“Come on and I’ll take you to see your dad at work,” she said. “He’ll tell you what to do since he has one.”

With that, the boy jumped into the Oldsmobile 98, being careful not to bump it on the Batman lunchbox.

The father was surprised to see the car pull up to the office and came outside.  “What’s wrong?”

“This,” Charlie said, pointing. “It won’t go down and everyone will make fun of me.”

“Just push it to the other side,” the dad reassured.

Charlie did, and immediately, the father’s prediction came true. “Thanks, Dad.”

“Sure thing,” said the father, patting him on the head and smiling at the mother.

Charlie was tardy for kindergarten, but the teacher ask why.

Tree on the Shore

by Carlos Perona

In youth I watched as the mistress of prophecy came to lie on her Caesar’s chest, twirling yet in her repose. Where he was noble, she was generous. Where he was serene, she was pious. Where he was aware, she was alive. Still, each was both in each embrace.

She roused us castaways and seekers into cool morning and recounted Genesis:

Before the advent of history, the first man and woman wandered the wastes and found themselves an oasis, but that shelter’s guardian soon appeared, speaking thus: “You may have your respite here, only on condition that you neither take nor leave anything.” But it was permitted unto them to rearrange the elements within, so they planted a tree and saw it grow and give them new shade, and in that shade, the same Divine power that had unfurled root from seed and branch from trunk grew new life from both in her. Eventually they stirred, but the guard blocked them: “You are as you were, and weigh the same you weighed when you arrived, yet store what’s mine inside that child. You may leave, but the third cannot.” “But,” responded the first man, “We may not leave anything behind.” “You grew the child from this fruit, its flesh is flesh of the oasis.” “Yet his eyes are akin to his mother’s, his nose it is as mine. You speak of substance, the form is of us.”

Maps in Black Iron

by Peter Haynes

You who seek those certain paths are blessed with the gift of the sight beneath. You are likely to possess specific methods of examination, including but not limited to: mediation of spirits, calling into question the shape of things others claim are immutable, revealing that hands thought empty in fact hold tools of great power. You may feel you have an affinity with the departed. You are as like to believe a falsehood for the truths it might contain as to accept a truth you believe is built upon lies. You are suspicious of wealth. You are uncomfortable with praise. You know in which way to tweak the productive habits of others to permit yet further flourishing. Evidence of new voices will be heard in the boiling of a kettle, the grinding brake of a sleeper train, a strong south-westerly. You occasionally demonstrate great zeal in the study of objects. Your handwriting emerges in a compact, energetic manner. You are capable of abandonment and mutiny. You are drawn to situations of empty opulence. Through a handshake you are wont to know the petty diasporas of the other’s mind. You can be brave, yet you know it is better to first send some mad saint to navigate the path and all its dangers yet unknown; you shall follow on in caution and become the accepted pioneer of the new. If you believe yourself equal to a task then you surely are, and most likely have been for a good while before. Sometimes you will paint your face with ash. Your lucky numbers are seventeen and another of your own choosing.

Untitled

by Emily Brickey

The man in the grey suit frowned, his eyes wandering over the decaying figure before him. Clumps of rubbery blood churned through its shockingly visible veins. The body twitched as it decomposed.

She closed her hand around an itch she did not feel on her palm, leaving soft dents where her fingers touched. She had been beautiful once, six hours ago. Loretta. Now, grey clumps of hair coarse like wire rubbed out of her head as she twitched under metal restraints, her ghostly, yellow eyes rolled in her head. Ice coursed through her veins.

Behind him on a counter, a plastic container sat under a heat lamp. Inside, fat, pale maggots crawled over each other. He reached for it and brought it to the table, unscrewed the top, and held it above its eyes, watching its response.

Loretta couldn’t speak, she stared helplessly at the maggots above her face. She thrashed, more hair pulled free of her scalp. Her eyes searched the man’s face desperately.

Its eyes met his. Disgusting. His resolve hardened. He released the maggots.

Loretta froze.

The maggots wriggled in place for some seconds. Then started burrowing. Crawling into the flesh of her cheeks, nostrils, the corners of her mouth. They reached her eyes. She felt no pain—her body was beyond that—but felt the grey suited man’s apathy keenly. She thrashed again, harder this time, as tears rolled from her eyes. She pounded her head against the table, a dent started forming on the back of her head. She pounded and pounded until the thin flesh of her scalp split open and chunks oozed out around her.

The man shouted, reaching forward to restrain it, then pulling back before he touched it. A foul stench flooded his nostrils. It finally went still.

The Dream Usually Ends When You Die

by Ryan Yarber

@YarberWrites

Night is often crime’s best ally, and crowds its nemesis, but that depends on the crime. Matt had been walking across Grand Avenue when he felt the metal slide between his ribs. The culprit lost quickly in the crowd. He found the nearest medical station damaged. Out of service. He decided the quicker he got home the safer he would be.

Against his own logic, he decided to risk the alleyways. His apartment was four blocks away and he could shave off crucial seconds. He ran holding his side. His sweater already heavy with his blood. He caught site of his attacker after the third block. It was too quick to make out. Adrenaline pumped through him, tightening his chest, and overriding the pain. He ran hard. The thing behind him was faster. It overcame him as he broke out onto 63rd Street near the shopping district. He fell to the ground amidst the crowds. The thing flipped him onto his back. Time held still long enough for him to see the nightmare. Four thick, long arms held him down. An ever-moving tangle of corded hair hid the creature’s face. Every inch of it was made of shadow. Its edges blurry, but he felt its teeth bite into him.

Not one of the hundreds of people walking by looked at him. Everyone walked around him. Their paths grew wider as his blood filled the street.

The beast looked up suddenly, frightened. It bit down one last time, severing the bottom half of his body, then took off with its prize. Matt called for help, but no one stopped. He began to crawl, leaving a thick trail of blood. He crawled all the way to his apartment on the fifth floor. The whole time he kept wondering why he wouldn’t die.

Method

by Mark Carew

The house was new, the rooms bare, the garden beautiful in the Hollywood Hills.  His wife was in the kitchen filling up the cupboards with groceries.  The kids were playing outside in the yard.  Hollywood paid well when they loved you, and Tinsel Town loved AJ Kay, emergency scriptwriter.  Got a movie where the plot drags like maple syrup; call AJ.  He’ll give you fast paced dialogue, a laugh-a-minute dynamic, and an empowering mix of happy and sad.

AJ took a pill.  This was moving-in day but he still had work to do.  The house was three floors, and with spacious grounds.  Hollywood scriptwriter, he puffed.  All down to his method, learnt from the ancients.

The colours of the walls grew brighter: red-hot, white-hot.  AJ settled down on a wooden crate in the middle of a room.  He looked out of the window into the rose garden.  There was a door in the wall.

The room lost the usual rectangular dimensions and angles that rooms are known for.  AJ remained sitting.  The roses bloomed the exact shade of tangelos; their leaves the dark green of Sacramento State.

A red goblin chased a green goblin through the blooms.  A white dragon-bird flew by several times.  A green goat kid chased a red goat kid.  Eighteen white dragon-birds appeared from out of the center of the roses and flew off on triangular vectors.

In the new script he was working on, the white dragon-bird would hide in the forest in the middle of one special flower.  A young shepherdess girl would find the flower, and bird, and this would unite the warring tribes of goblins.

His wife entered the room, carrying a catalog showing curtains and drapes to buy.  He pointed to the longest, darkest set of drapes.

Hypnosis

by Barbara Jones

 You will close your eyes

You will count backwards from 100

99

98

97

Your eyelids are heavy.

My eyelids are heavy. They are heavy and sticky. Someone’s put honey on them. It was Winnie, though maybe not Winnie, he was stuck. I am stuck. I am sitting on a couch with no legs.

We are floating, we are floating on oily water. It is thick water and I can’t see through it. And the neighbour is here, but he has no eyes, his eyes have melted. They’re dripping on his chin. He deserves it, he’s an asshole.

One of the couch legs is in my pocket. I haven’t got an erection. It’s a couch leg. Or maybe not. I don’t like floating on this syrupy water.

I want to get out of here. But Winnie can’t save me and my eyes are stuck. There is luminescent death behind them, they need to open before death comes. Open open open. But Winnie can’t save me.

The neighbour is gone, there is a trail of slime to the garden. The neighbour is a slimy weasel.

I want to open my eyes before a peacock pecks them. Peacock pecking. Pecking peacock. Let me out. Let me out of me. I want to open my eyes.

You will now open your eyes.

Who are you? Are you a peacock?

THE DARK SIDE OF THE EARTH

by Irene Montaner

Mr Smith’s juvenile talk contrasted with his aged body.

Once a renown physicist and a perennial candidate for the Nobel prize, he now styled himself as the prophet of the truth and wasted his money and time organising lavish events. Much like this one.

Time for Q&A; I raised my hand. “Assuming everything you say it’s true, what’s on the other side of the Earth?”

“Nothing,” answered Mr Smith. He smirked, “and everything.”

I needed alcohol to decide whether this Flat Earth thing was the biggest scam in the history of mankind or the most cynical pastime of a bunch of rich lunatics. As I ordered a G&T someone tapped me over the shoulder. It was Mr Smith himself.

“You’re a journalist, aren’t you?” he asked and I nodded. “Would you have a minute for this old man?”

He walked me to the weirdest room I had ever seen. Much like one of those impossible paintings by Escher, the many mirrored walls reflected dozens of stairs going up and down. I soon realised there were only two staircases: one going up and one down, the two of them converging in the middle of the room.

Mr Smith gestured me to follow him downstairs. After a couple of steps the world flipped over. We were no longer going down but coming up, into a room just like the one we had left behind.

“Welcome to the dark side of the Earth,” said Mr Smith. “You may explore it but take care not to run into your other self.”

I hesitated. Should I? Shouldn’t I?

It didn’t matter. No matter what I saw outside this room and what I told people about it, no one would believe me. Suddenly, believing the Earth was round seemed like the easy option.

New Bits

by Valerie Moyses

“I say, I do like that new leg you’re growing! Really useful for cliff-climbing!”

“Well, yes, maybe, but I can’t balance on my surfboard any more. I’d much rather have a new arm, like you. Far more useful!”

“Yes, I must admit, I always used to think all mothers should have more arms than babies. Do you think I might grow a fourth, to deal with my triplets? But I dare say nobody is going to end up with 6 limbs, or else  we might as well grow wings!”
“No, no chance of flying. We’re too heavy. Or else we’d have to grow chest muscles like tungsten wire.”

“So, no 6-limbed humans then?”

“Oh, well, not necessarily. Yesterday I met a man who is growing two new legs, both at the same time. He looks as if he’s going to be a centaur, but he’s none too pleased with the idea. He may have some trouble learning to walk, having to coordinate all those legs, but anyway, he hasn’t got any clothes to wear, and he can’t face going to work naked.”

“Oh. Tell him not to worry. With this extra arm I can easily whip up a pair of double-dungarees for him. Just get his measurements for me, and ask him if he wants zips or buttons.”

Untitled

by Ronnie Walter

As the tired old man rode on, the highwaymen behind him went either unnoticed or unheeded. Until they struck. “Your money or your life!” one said, his sword out as the other stayed back with a bow. Calmly, the old man smiled and said “Ah, but I could be odin. Do you truly wish to find out?” the second thief considered the old mans eye patch, paused, then ran. “Coward.” sneered the first thief. “But stories don’t scare me. Your money or your life!” “if you run now you need not die”said the man. “I do dislike killing.” the thief laughed. You couldn’t hurt me old man! Enough stories!” he said, and made his demand for the third and final time: “your money or your life!” ”The old man sighed, then his hand snaked out, grabbed his gun and shot the thief three times in the chest. “Some stories” he said. “Exist for a reason.”

There would be warmth

by Desmond White

Now the mediæval men knew a thing about doomsday. They scribbled its steps in codices long-brown, although none of them were excited about cityside basilisks and resurrected gods, content with pulling gold from menstrual blood. Not me. All my years I burned to clear the crust of life from this planet. (Humans, dogs, the yellow cities, trees, all that color.) So I studied the works recounting the Vulcani, those lizards that grow in fire like fishes in water, what some call salamanders. If you grow them big enough they’ll survive outside their element—bigger and they’ll turn the elements into char.

I get a fire going until the flicker-roots are blue and the smoke thick enough to climb, then I step between logs glimmering like sticks in a stomach. The lizards see me and run and die in the cold, so maybe, I think, I must accustom the new hatches to my scent. The eggs are easy. I find a clump of black logs glowing with a thousand eyes and there I find them, small, angry. I raise one to see if the fetus is kicking in the ash, but I take the egg too close to the air element, or maybe wind blows out of jealousy, and the egg turns to coal in my boiled fingers. The fire is kind enough to lift my tears. The next egg I push down my throat, placing it by the heat of my liver, wrapped motherly in blood-web, and now I’m running out the tipi, running for the lake to wash the blackened scale of my skin, to feel the living stone inside my belly, to finish what the mystics never started.

Zero Options

by E. F. S. Byrne

Frog spawn. I watch them in the puddle at end end of my garden, hidden behind stray leaves, raw grass, immature daffodils. They bundle and puddle and look almost happy in their bundled cages.

He promised he’d plough. We tried hard to cultivate.

“He’s a waster.”

“Are you serious?”

“I’m not ready just now.”

Red faced confusion. “You’re not ready? He’s a drunkard!”

Husbands, infants: they left, one by one.  Too much responsibility, I farmed it out until it evaporated into the ether.

“But you have to keep trying. “

IVF, tests, formulas, witchcraft: I refused. We struggled on and when it didn’t work I tried again, with somebody different. And again.

Pregnant. Another father.

Another absence. I’ll design  the plot, shape the tombstone correctly.

Birds sing overhead as if nothing is happening. I wonder  if it will be a boy or a girl as I carve the date into the limestone cross. Finish that name and I’m finished. Enough for today. Shouldn’t stress myself just in case:  has never worked before, but nothing wrong in laying back and hoping for the best.

Every cross  a memory, a failure to carry, a carriage to the bottom of my garden where I seem to do nothing but chisel away my life, in the name of others that fail to arrive.

They say I’m infertile. I don’t know why. All they have to do is look at my garden and see the seeds I’ve been planting all my life.

The Retriever
by Katie Vandrilla
 
I’m not sure what happened.  I heard my name, then my most prized possession was hurled across the yard by someone I thought was my friend.  That’s not okay.  Maybe they didn’t mean to throw it.
I picked the toy up, and brought it over to him.  “Please treat this better.”
He must not have heard me.
He threw it another time.  This time, further.
Let me try this again.
I ran after the item, and returned it to where it started.  “This is mine.  I’ll share, but play nice.”
Yet again, he lobbed the toy as far as he could.
Fine.  I’ll go get it…Wait a minute!  This was actually fun.
My owner is so smart for inventing this fetching game.  I wonder what he calls it?

 

Palette Hearts

by Patton Hunnicutt

A palette of hearts glimmers in-sight, and the blonde vixen clutches her grey-
haired jubilee so tight. That waterfall of flax hides a little smirk for she sees the heart of

her wife in red. That one with the sunglasses in this dark sits on mulberry blankets, feels
the freedom of this ledge, and completes an everylasting pair.
The greatest joy of her life looks through glass when out there are colored atria
pumping changed plasma. Here is orange of explosive joy. There is sunshine never coy.
Turning that glass to shamrock at peace with itself; Discovering there hangs the
cobalt of such awful dread. Violet pangs with unrequited love, and indigo hurts in lovers
gone. Black comes for unearned pain, and chocolate brown speaks to richness of the
spirit plane.
She must turn to find so many more, and here is a terrifying mixture slated for
killing love. Aquamarine feigns a heart of harmony, but green of pine needles pretends
where melancholy bleeds. Mocha so smooth mixes with bumblebees and honey
spreading kindness that swoons. Violet collides with yellow to feel a few seconds of
renewal.
Scarlet sings with marigolds in that proposal accepted; Dandelions joins with
pears in chartreuse of relationships repaired. Glancing back to that red of her wife’s aura
brings such enviable joy, and there is white in the seeing eye. Every emotion absorbs, and
multitudes settle in the light. They must reflect on those hearts in choosing new colors
from the palette.
Coal simmers to azure, but crimson falls on leaves so sweet. Fire gives way to
Tuscan sun worn so well; blue finds red to blend purple resurrecting adoration long
thought dead.
Pulled away from the glass she addresses her bride, “be still our souls,” she gasps,
“always your heart is the brightest.”

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