The Halloween Cloak
birds; five-day challenge
Brigit's Flame, October Week 2 "the mysterious". Poem, 138 words, no warnings. Admittedly, I wrote this thinking the week 2 topic was again "darkness" since the Week 2 topic didn't show on the Brigit's Flame livejournal... but it works for "the mysterious" too, fortunately!

A twist and a flair
as the darkness settles ‘round
my shoulders – now I am ready.

A few steps is all it takes
until my cloak catches on the breeze
and the shadows reach out for me.

My magic carpet of darkness,
my living cloak of night,
transports me and shields me from view.

Across the sky I fly,
communing with the shadows
as they celebrate my passage.

The great distance traversed in moments, yet
by the time I arrive,
the party has begun.

Tassels from my carpet reach out and
open the door for my entrance,
while the wind clears a path in the crowd.

The people in their costumes
hush as I step inside;
the shadows rush to me in greeting.

I open my arms wide.
The darkness scatters to play.
Now the real party begins.


Of the Darkness
birds; five-day challenge
Brigit's Flame, October week 1, "darkness". Haiku, 13 words.

Sunbeams hide outside
of a starry cloak of night -
Watch me come alive.

Vilgen's Deceit
birds; five-day challenge
Brigit's Flame, March Week 3, "Live to tell the tale". Fiction, about 1216 words. Warning for hematophagy at death.

          The blood glistened on the fresh cut on her grey-skinned chest, as red as the life which spread on the floor beneath her.
          “Do it now.” Her voice was barely audible as she slipped away.

          Jeanne put aside her soiled knife and leaned over the dying creature, her hands planted in the pool forming around her. She put her scarred mouth to the slit, and sucked. There was no coppery taste to this creature’s blood: it tasted of sweet cherries with a hint of tarragon. Certainly it was not what she expected, nor a combination she would have ever thought to try, but she found it tantalizing, and drank until she could suck no more from the wound.
          Raising her red-painted lips, she saw that the creature’s face in death retained that of the monster, not of the beautiful blond who had broken so many men and women alike. Jeanne sat back on her heels and ran a hand across her mouth, then wiped her palms on her thighs. These jeans had outlived their usefulness anyways.

          “You forgot who I am,” Jeanne said to the still form, picking up and holding her silver knife in front of her. This was by no means the first blood her blade had tasted, and nor would it be the last. She wiped the blade clean on the creature’s torn shirt, re-sheathed it at her hip as she stood, and tugged her headscarf back over her face.

          “I never make a bargain when I can take what I want.”

          If Jeanne had looked back to watch the body disintegrate instead of just walking away, she would have seen the creature’s mouth turn up into a sickly grin.
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Green Opal Gateway
birds; five-day challenge
Brigit's Flame March Week 2, "What worlds may come". Fiction, no warnings, about 588 words.

   The metallic bowl was set, filled just barely to the top with some of the purest salt water. Now came the tricky part: gently dropping in the tumbled green opal stone without disturbing the surface too much, or worse yet, displacing any water. The surface of the stone was smooth and difficult to hang on to, but I had done this many times before – though sometimes I still had to do it more than once to get it just right. I slipped it into the center of the bowl, careful not to touch the water with anything other than the stone.
     I let go and the gem sank gracefully to the bottom, where it settled. The sunlight angling through the window sent prisms of green and blue reflecting within the bowl as the water stilled. Carefully, so as not to disturb the water, I placed a hand along the rim of either side of the bowl and leaned over it. Peering inside, I ignored my reflection and focused first on the gem in the center, how the water and light flowed through and around it. Then I let the refracted light in the water fill my vision, and my mind wrap itself in the gentle undulations of color.
     With my lips barely parted, I vocalized the song I had inherited, the words forming only in my soul:
Beneath the deep blue sea
I see you and me.
Varicolored light flashing
Around us as we’re splashing.
Embrace this feeling: we will see
What worlds may come to be...
     The song echoed in my ears as the surface of the bowl rippled faster and faster, the sound of waves breaking into each other growing louder. The first small waves crashed into the sides of the bowl. I dipped my thumbs and forefingers over the edges into the water, and tugged gently.
     With ease I stretched the sides of the bowl apart as the water expanded, the gem within glittering in the sunlight as it began to sink. Once the edges were pushed out as far as my arms could reach, the waves crested higher, splashing my face with their spray –
     – and the next moment, I was in the open ocean. I gave my tail a powerful kick and dove, my outstretched arm catching the green opal before it sank out of sight. I tucked the gem into the only other item I had brought with me, a small purse with a strap that went across my body and another strap about my waist to secure it to me in the ocean currents.
     I pulled in a large amount of water through the gills on my neck, re-familiarizing myself with the sensation. No matter how many times I came here, that was always the one thing I could never quite remember exactly, even though my body did it automatically. Or maybe it was exactly because I did do it automatically that I couldn’t remember it. The very next moment, a shiver vibrated from my head to the tip of my tail as the last synapse connections were made, and I was truly ready to continue.
     Without bothering to glance back up at the world of the sky, I dove down, instinctively angling my descent to not only avoid the bends, but also to head directly for the shoal. Though they moved around frequently, I could always find them. My song was their song, and their souls reached out to mine, guiding me unerringly to them as I swum into the depths.

Reclining on the balcony
birds; five-day challenge
Brigit's Flame, March week 1, "local colors". Poetry, 145 words, no warnings. Bonus points if you catch any/all 8 television show + 1 movie series reference :)

Looking out around me, the locals are out in full:

The brown-coated sparrows twitter away en masse;
the bluejays dart from here to there, sounding their song no matter the time.

Pure white swans float in their glorified haughtiness
while nefarious black-headed geese honk and waddle and plot.

A flash of red reveals itself to be a male cardinal before it disappears again,
while its ruddy-brown mate minds the nest and home.

A midnight black crow caws from some dark forgotten corner, and at the base of a tree,
a small pile of feathers and bone the only evidence of its silent hunter.

A little shrew nose peeks out of its hidey hold before disappearing again, as the shadow of
an orange tabby slinks by, presumably in search of a tasty rat already short a bite out of its tail.

Who needs other people, anyways?

birds; five-day challenge
Brigit's Flame February week 4, "Ha -- would a madman have been so wise as this?" - 14 words, no warnings

Knowing the past,
living the present,
discerning the future:
The madness of a wiseman.

birds; five-day challenge
Brigit's Flame, February week 3, "heart shaped paper". Drabble, 99 words, no warnings.

The floor was covered with scrunched up, discarded papers: a sea of rejected, imperfect folds, all rough edges and unsightly shapes. Upon the wooden table rested a stack of perfectly square paper, sheets in every color possible. A man sat there, his fingers delicately folding another sheet, his concentration completely on the red shape forming beneath his hands. A final crease here, a final fold there … Gingerly he held the heart-shaped paper up to the light. Perfect at last. He opened up the compartment on the paper doll and slipped the heart inside, positioning it just so.


birds; five-day challenge
Brigit's Flame, February Week 2, "PBJ", haiku, 9 words.

Japanese white bread,
Strawberry jam, peanuts cream:

is a word that implies a feeling of notalgia, of experiencing something that you missed for the first time in a (long) while

This Curious Life
birds; five-day challenge
Brigit's Flame, February Week 1, "Curiouser and curiouser". So this started out as trying to capture the craziness that a dream is, but morphed into something rather different. Curious how that happens, no? about 90 words, no warnings.

I walk through the forest,
taking my time exploring all the hidden shadows and relishing in its mysteries.

I run across the beach,
going faster and faster as the sand burns my feet and the sun beats down on me relentlessly.

I wade through the surf,
heading deeper and deeper I shed my clothes as the water wraps its cool fingers around me.

I dive into the ocean,
carefree at last and free of the pain on earth, weightless I swim ever deeper towards the city glowing a welcome below.

Fork and Spoon
birds; five-day challenge
Brigit's Flame, January week 4, "Utopia: searching for meaning". Continuation of my Utensilopia, part 4 of 4. Fiction, about 1860 words, no warnings.

   Sorry it’s been so long since I last wrote, Diary. So much has happened that I didn’t have time. I know, I know, excuses … but here’s at least the beginning of it all.

   About three weeks after the Forking event, weeks full of me arguing with myself about it, I finally decided and found time to sneak off to the location on the card Klutz Kacoa gave me. It wasn’t to his family’s main home, but rather, to their safety shelter. Only the richest of the top classes can afford a safety shelter that isn’t beneath their own house, if they’re lucky enough to have a shelter of their own. My family has to rely on the community shelter, and going there during that one tornado was more than enough for me. But I digress. (That’s a word I picked up from Kacoa.)

   I felt so strange going to that shelter. It was a ways outside of town, through the forest. It takes a while to get to, but almost no one travels the trails that lead to it, so at least I don’t have to try very hard to not be seen going there. I went right after dinner, and when I arrived, Kacoa was there, looking out and waiting for me.

   “I hoped you would come,” he said when I approached. He was dressed in clothing that could be mistaken for that of a Spoon’s garb, and I wondered where he got it. Later he told me he borrowed it from one of the Spoons that serves his family. I made sure that he returned it, and have since given him some of my brother’s old clothing which I patched and fitted for him. They haven’t missed it yet.

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