WeWriWa is Here Again

The weekend is here, which means… WeWriWa! You must write either 8 sentences for prose or 150 word limit for poetry. Lots of great writers participate. You can check em out via ze button above.

For those who are new, I am continuing my story about Hagar and Ishmael in the Desert. For understanding the backstory, go here. For previous installments: Part onePart two, Part threePart fourPart fivePart sixPart seven and Part eight. Last time we ended with Hagar just about to kill her son, Ishmael.

Expulsion of Ishmael and His Mother, from Gust...

Expulsion of Ishmael and His Mother, from Gustave Doré’s illustrated Bible of 1866. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Hagar!” a strange voice cried. Confused, I dropped the rock and looked about wildly, but saw nothing.

“Hagar” the voice came again, soothing and gentle like the sudden cool breeze. “Dry your eyes: God has heard you. Take Ishmael by the hand, and go on.”

Tears rolled down my cheeks, “Where shall we go? We have no more water: I cannot watch my heart die before my eyes.”

I think one or two more Wewriwa’s and this story will be done (crazy i knoooow). Thoughts, fb, etc are always welcome. Have a good weekend guys

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The Distance Between Me and You

Hello! Happy Early Fourth of July to my fellow Americans. It’s one of my favorite holidays to celebrate in DC. The fireworks on the national mall are amazing. Just don’t take your dog… bad personal experience.

Today, I have a more experimental short story for you.  Really proud of how this came out. But warning: Angst ahead.

Rating: PG, although adult themes.

The Incalculable Distance Between Earth and the Statosphere

I.

He left us last night,
bag in hand and
abandoned
this world at 9 am,
burning his
way through
the stratosphere.
Each time, Billy
claps as Daddy’s
rocket presses
through, I sit
back, my
throat catches.
Breathe returns only
when he’s a spec,
safe in the dark.
II.

He tasted different when  he returned from space. In the beginning, it unnerved me. In the privacy of night, my hands and mouth sought him out. The planes of his body felt the same, reassuring my hands. But when I breathed in his scent or tasted his skin, I encountered a stranger. One full of mint and metal not the allspice and sandalwood I fell in love with.

I gasped the first time, turned on a light in my confusion. It was his face beside me, his weight sinking the bed. Still, my body felt confused. Who was in my bed?

“What is it?” he murmured, warm hands cradling my face.

I laughed at my own nervousness. “Nothing, I’m just glad you’re home.”

Now, my nose and tongue welcome these scents. They are the bits he brings back from the darkness. They tell me he’s home again, real and safe.

 

III.
Conversations I wish I never overheard

 

“Daaad?”

“Yes Billy?”

“Why are you staring at the moon? You’re there all the tiiiime.”

“Well, it just looks different from here.”

“The moon’s the moon. It can’t be thaat different.”

“Yes and no…Yes and no.”

IV.

The bag I pack:
One pair of pants pressed and folded
One button down Oxford for Houston
One leather belt
Five knockaround shirts (always included: Georgetown and Tulane)
Three, no two pairs of sweats. (too many last time)
One Sweatshirt
10 pairs of boxers
5 pairs of flannel socks
Toothbrush
Floss
One handkerchief with one spritz of my perfume (he’s never asked, I’ve never explained. We agree in the silence)

The bag he packs:
One copy of Moby Dick, creased and worn
One black notebook
Two photographs

  • One: It’s me and him on our honeymoon. The sun is bright on our faces, he’s picked me up. We’re both    laughing
  • Two: Billy and I sit across the table. Billy is four, and explaining something with his hands wild in the air. A smile plays on my lips as I sneak a glance at the camera.

One grey river stone, smooth, worn.

I want to be assured by the weight he carries with him. But there’s no gravity in space.

V.

The sounds of separation

 

Zip. Zip. Zip.

Did you?

Yes

And?

That too. Besides, it’s time for you to go. (deep breathe) Billy! Come say goodbye!

(slow shuffle)

Do you have to go Daddy?

I wish I didn’t, but I have to.

When will you be baaack?

Three weeks. Think you can be good til then?

I’ll try

Love ya kiddo.

Love ya too

(six feet walk towards the door. Four walk through. It squeaks open and closed)

I’ll miss you (sniffle)

I’ll miss you too

(Kiss)

Be safe

I’ll be back soon

(two feet walk down to the car. One door opens and closes. Ignition starts. The car rumbles away.)

VI.

Sometimes I wish I could call you in space. I could tell you how Billy wouldn’t go to sleep last night. Or that I ran into Mrs. Jones. She once again asked where you were. She still doesn’t believe you are an astronaut, or that you exist at all.

But phone calls would cause more problems. Billy would cry, missing you even more. Would the connection even work? I imagine trying to talk over white noise. Feeling further and further from you.

Secretly, I don’t want the option. You go somewhere further than outer space. There’s a room inside you with space for one. A room made of metal, and filled with mint. I don’t want to hear your voice, so close and yet far away. My heart would break to see your eyes, but not you inside them.

Instead, I wait. I count the days til you break through the stratosphere. Pray to the moon you will come back to me. So far you have. Still, I hold my breath. Waiting.

Sunburn and a Short Story

Hello! I hope y’all are having a great Monday. I’m currently on vacation (yes you should be jealous)…and already sunburned (yes you can laugh at me). Image

yep this is my view. No lie, it’s pretty awesome. 

So all this time has gotten me a moment to finish a story!

Warning: more mythology, angst, and references to eating children (Greek mythology, not my twisted head ok?). So… PG-13 ish. 

Watching Heaven and Earth

“Atlas…one who knows the depths of the whole sea, and keeps the tall pillars who hold heaven and earth asunder”. – Homer

My legs are weary of the water. It’s no longer cold, but constantly rushes around my legs, rising and sinking around my thighs. My toes have been frozen, long forgotten in dark depths that stretch back longer than memory. Occasionally I shift them, and feel the miles of sand tumble around them. I must move gently, my brothers and sisters lie somewhere in these depths. How cruel, the fates could be, letting my weary feet destroy my own family in the darkness.

My shoulders are tired, although the weight of the sky no longer bothers me. I don’t understand where humans thought I held up the earth. My mother is stronger than any of the other gods. She never needed cradling hands. My hands hold up the heavens. I was to separate embittered lovers, Gaia and Uranus. I was the guard between my own mother and father.

The millennia pass me yet memory stays sharp and clear. Mother once stared up at father each night, and day. Do you remember when he laid with you? Or do you recall the cries of your children, his children, yearning for freedom? Hidden deep in your depths, you could feel them but not touch them. Though once they screamed, only silence comes from the depths. Is that a relief? Or does worry grow like a pernicious weed?

Our conversations spanned decades but you never answered these questions. Now, even you mother, have gone silent.  Do you sleep now, or merely avoid the sky and memories?

The sky is light upon my hands. Uranus’s persistent desire left long ago. Father, why did you never ask for forgiveness? You once stared on at mother’s fertile beauty day after day, night after shining night. Yet you couldn’t see how your pit tore her apart. How could you not feel her helplessness or taste her rising rage? It rose slowly and surely, until only destruction was her choice.

Even still you begged forgiveness for centuries. My arms still ache from when you strained to reach her. Your every atom pressed against me, dying to caress her. Standing guard, you forced me to listen to your songs. Each painted a picture of time long gone: the moment you first saw her; the ways she sighed your name. Had she asked me to simply lie down, perhaps I would have. You sang of love, but she whispered of your venom and selfishness. So I stood, guarding the space between longing and rancor.

If I could have left you both, I would have. I would have long ago. Yet even the strongest gods lose hope. You are so light upon my arms now. Bits and pieces of you left, until one day I realized I forgot the feeling of pressure above me. As you gave up on her, you gave up on us and on our history. Now only thin air remains.

Where have you gone? Do you travel to other, newer lands? You search for lands where time has only begun and stories remain unwritten. There you may be kinder, and keep your eyes wide open. You can rewrite history and say all the apologies too hard to make to Gaia. There you find a second chance. May you find what you seek father, but do not forget.  

King of the heavens, ruler of air and flight, you traverse the universe. You may leave your errors behind. We, mere titans and gods, can reach up into the skies, but must always be rooted to our mother. We see our errors play out. . 

I don’t wish to be young again. We were foolish then. The world was ours and the days full. We controlled the seas and sky. Our mother, ever generous, never left us wanting. The fruit was sweet, the water crisp and cool. We had everything, only the stars lay beyond our reach. With Uranus, newly defeated, nothing could hurt us.

Thus, we believed we would live forever, rule until time itself gave out. We only debated where we would next take our court and celebrate. Eden, those Christians would call it. Perhaps it was. I call it my childhood.

The fates are capricious ladies. They always had the sharpest and most bitter humors. I blame sharing one eye between three. Yet still they had such sight. We were more than our mother’s children, we were our father’s as well.

And so, when all could be lost, we clung even tighter, ensuring our own downfall. Young and strong, we laughed at the one eyed crones. Our own children would not destroy us! Though Cronus laughed loudest, I saw the fear take root inside him. His eyes glittered hard and cold as the distant stars. With their prophesy, our fate was sealed.

Though he swallowed all of his children, Zeus came back full of lightening’s vengeance. For the first time we felt our knees bend, our faces flat against our mother. We learned the feeling of rage’s fire choking in our lungs, burning our insides while our mouths stayed firmly shut.

The last time I saw my brothers and sisters, I watched them tossed into the pit. Rhea’s hair fanned around her as she disappeared. Cronus’s bellows echoed. Yet the sound was so faint and small when it reached the surface.

I was ready to fall into the darkness, but Zeus held me back. My burden wasn’t to lie in the dark, but hold up the skies. I was to be the sign of his victory. He made me watch his rule. But time is gentle to no gods: Aphrodite’s beauty crumbled to dust; Ares back broke into pieces. Yet somehow, I remain. Why? Who am I witness to now?

I fear I will exist as long as time does. The fates cackle haunts me. Only they know my end (or have they too perished with time?). I thank the three crones for leaving me ignorant of my fate. Whatever choice I make has already been decided. Yet this moment is mine.

My arms descend, slowly, painfully. Though I hold my breath, the heavens stay above. Slowly, I begin to walk, rising from the ocean depths. Green warm land lies in front of me. Mother, I will lie in your embrace at last. Eons of fatigue consume me. As I close my eyes, I see only darkness. Wherever I go next, may it be with my brothers and sisters. May my questions meet more than silence.