Roots #TheDailyPost #WritersWednesday

The prompt, Wednesday April 26

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She belongs to this city, even if she would deny it. Her accent, I know, is – ever so lightly – from somewhere else, further East, for such is History. Once upon a time, those lands belonged here. Her roots are here.

And I, wandering those streets, drinking quietly on the benches of the parks, try to guess where she is, now, that war again sounds on the horizon. She haunts my dreams, her steps always fading, beyond some wall, or perhaps, behind a cloud.

The ruins have gone – so many women cleared the streets, as the soldiers jeered. At night I roam the squares, near the churches…

She’s nowhere to be found…

Photo: berlin 2017 © martin u waltz. streetberlin.net

Shore #writephoto

shore

Inspired by Sue’s Thursday photo prompt, April 20

I opened my eyes, and immediately rehearsed the mission: locate the enemy’s base along this shore, and destroy it. Step by step I checked the multidimensional map, the weapons’ readiness list, and finally my own fitness stats. I was ready; I looked at the rollers, at the white foam forming at the top of the waves as they hit the blond sand. It was low tide. As I slowly walked towards the sea, my personal radar showed nothing. However I knew – somehow – that the enemy had many tricks in its repertoire. I scanned the water running at my feet, as drawn to the depths.

There, somewhere, was my target. I reran the film I was shown, shortly after my arrival, across the portal, when I was given my identity, and briefed on my mission. I had memorised the ugly shape, and the deadly traps that surrounded the structure… In fact I had memorised every detail I needed to help me achieve my goal.

I was now underwater, soon swimming expertly and invisibly from the surface. The gradient was a sharp drop in front of me, and I could see the rocky ground through the clear water. I just felt perfectly prepared for the mission: a sleek killing machine, well briefed and armed… and happily ignorant of her past.

Then the radar alarm in my ear buzzed: I was no longer alone…

Fry #TheDailyPost

Prompt, April 20

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“There are no ghosts here,” the old man said, as a matter of fact. “You will find a few old stones, but nothing worth spending much time. They rebuilt the city as they pleased: no reference to its past, its soul, its heroes…”

We took a few more steps through the nondescript city center, we could have been anywhere in a dozen European cities. “But have a look at the river bank,” my companion continued, “I won’t walk with you, but it’s the only place deserving your time…”

The river was twenty minutes away. All along the water luxury mansions faced the tree-lined alley. Gone were the cheap take-aways and the congested streets. Here was real wealth, and good taste. People here did not bother about the fate of other parts of the city: they had bigger fish to fry.

Then I looked at the record of flooding, on the wall of an old tower, standing there, as a warning…

Blindly #DailyPrompt

Today’s one-word prompt

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He watches the City born again, the ghosts of the past walking, silently, amidst the joyous crowds. The ancient monuments look old and cleansed, no longer ruins martyred by war. Yet he does not follow the script, blindly, but, rather, reflects on the meanings, the hidden messages, the untold truths. Here were divisions, for sure, and the hideous spectrum of tyranny. But here was courage also. And patient work, and the indomitable spirit of a great nation.

Photo: Brandenburger Tor, von Bundestag cupola, 2017 (Honoré Dupuis)

Stones #writephoto

arch

I hurried toward the shore, I was feeling an urgency to reach what may be the end of my journey, and even obtain answers to my anxious questions. The sun was already high in the sky, the eagle had disappeared, as if vanished into another dimension.

I was now running, avoiding the brambles, although I could not feel anything brushing against my bare legs. I could now see a patch of lush grass, atop a small hill close to the rocky beach. There stood the portal. I immediately knew this was my goal: the ancient medieval construction, which was perhaps the remnants of an old chapel’s entrance.

Light clouds were spreading across the horizon. Finally I stood, a few feet from the weather-polished stones, watching through the arch the narrow gravel path that led toward the water edge, as I let a strange but welcome calmness invade me. The only thing that remained to do was to walk, step by step, through the gate.

I took the first step, and saw the slight shimmer of light in front of me. “It’s just the sea”, I thought, “I am going home….”

Inspired by Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompt, 6 April 2017

Gold #writephoto

Inspired by Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt

gold

 

I followed the path, to the West, and toward the expanse of water visible on the horizon. The distance was deceptive, the path rose slowly, and, after a few hours walk, it became evident that I would not get to the shore much before sunset. The vegetation was sparse, and did not offer much shelter for the night. I tried to imagine what predators might roam those hills.

After another hour walking through coarse grass and bushes, I made it to the top of a small promontory, high above the sea. The sun was sinking fast on the horizon. It is then that I saw the bird: a wide-spanned eagle, I thought, almost immobile in the golden sunlight, expertly using the air currents to glide, observing, perhaps listening.

Although I was not alone, as the apparition of the eagle showed, I felt a deep loneliness: where was the rest of mankind? Was I still the person who had boarded that aircraft, not that long ago, together with her holiday mates? How long could I keep walking in this wilderness, without apparent hunger?

The view from the promontory was breathtaking, the colours almost surreal: I knew something was very different, in this world, from where I came from. Or was it me who had changed, in ways I could not begin to understand…

Territory #WritersWednesday

The Prompt

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This was her city, she’s lived here all her life, and even before she became the angel she now is, she knew the streets, the people who haunted them, and the sort she could meet, the day people, and the night creatures. She was a little of both, and even now, if you could see her, it might be in the glory of dawn, or in deep darkness, in those hours when the ghosts of the city roam the deserted parks, the tree-lined alleys and the silent museums.

She’s here on her territory, she knows the history, she knows the truths, the myths, the real faces behind the masks. She can read the stories the old houses tell, the dreams of the humans who live there. She can hear distant voices, she recognises them. She can read ancient books, she can read what is engraved on stones, hidden from view, forgotten, in abandoned buildings no-one ever visits.

She’s here for a reason: she’s the angel of Death, and close to her the Devil never comes.

Image: “Angel statue in a destroyed city

Purple #DailyPost

Monday Prompt

 

 

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We see the birds gather and fly, first as a small group, then swarming in a dark cloud, defying the glowing sunset. As the coulours change, as the sky turns from blue into purple, then into the deep hue of the coming night, they fly higher, for a short instant, to finally dive, back into the trees. Violet strikes appear in the sky, time seems suspended, the fleeting memories of the day prepare us to the silence that follows, to the peace yet to come.

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