Thursday photo prompt
“This is only an exercise”, he kept repeating to himself. But he knew that the exhaustion was catching up with him. He still had everything: the map, the compass, enough water, and the grains of black pepper. Black pepper… They’d told him that it would keep him going for miles… So he’d walked all night, and the day before, and the day before that. According to the map he’d already gone for nearly seventy miles, through woods, cañons and swamps. And the bag, the awful bag, some forty kilos of spare clothes and gear…
He also knew he would soon have to kill. Anything. To eat. For in front was the valley, and then he would have to go up, to climb. Now was morning, it would take him some twelve hours or more to reach the hills. He would have to rest, just long enough. Perhaps this was when he would get ambushed. No paintball then, no Sir. Just knives.
He thought back, his school friends, the barracks, at the time he thought it would be a good idea, to become a tough guy: he had choices, but, really, he wasn’t made for this.
Thursday photo prompt
Overwhelmed by sorrow, he called for his guardian angel. She came at once, and took him to the cliff to watch the sunset, just the two of them. All at once calmed, reassured, he looked up to her smiling face: then she said: “I know, you feel lonely, but in truth you are lucky, you had more love than most mortals, and maybe you did not always deserve it…”
“Now is time for you to give grace, for your life, for the children you were given, for this sunrise… And for me to come to you, as I saw your distress.”
He felt on his knees, but she insisted he stood, side by side with her, and he felt her searching his mind, destroying the demons and the false hopes.
“Of course you will die, when your time comes. For now, look at the star rising, feel the warmth, feel my hand on your shoulder, and don’t wallow in self-pity. I will come back when it is your turn…”
He felt her lips on his, her presence, and then she was gone. Alone he watched the dawn of a new day.
Weekly Writing Prompt #175
charcoal, shade, pale, wake, lucid
The rain fell, almost silent, but she could hear the little stream, outside, through the open window. She called the instant the lucid wake: those minutes before the first signs of the pale dawn. Then, everything is clear, the events of the past days in sharp relief, as if lit from inside. His smile, the fire on the beach, the shade under the pine trees, the smell of charcoal. But this wasn’t yesterday, it was years ago, her already distant past. And then it had been Summer…
Then the wine had tasted better, the air cleaner, the waves softer. His skin was like the sun itself. Where was he now? The lucid wake: she was alone, all fires long dead.
She could hear the little stream. Winter would end, another Spring would come.
Image source: https://wallpapersafari.com/winter-beach-scenes-wallpaper/
Weekly Writing Challenge #170
A late dream,
Don’t I know what to expect!
The storm must have woken me,
And you, dear angel,
Are still fast asleep…
Yet I know: the Enemy and his minions strike before dawn,
Hiding their hideous shapes
Behind the windows’ frames…
I wrap myself in your gown,
And swear at them.
Picture: from this fantastic site: http://darkdreams.centerblog.net/1396-les-nagas
Weekly Writing Prompt #154
The thin line
between light and dawn:
the thrill of knowing,
Weekly Writing Challenge #128
Waiting for dawn to break,
A sense of loss –
Cannot move to the light:
or tame Morpheus,
or finish the dream…
Photo: Le grand homme de la nuit, Germaine Richier, © 2017 Honoré Dupuis
The small bird was close to our window: her voice rose high and clear in the light mist shrouding the garden. She was celebrating life and the dawn of a new day, she was saying hope is alive, and look at me: I am small, but I am here, for God is great and I am a small spark of life in His Creation.
So the dark thoughts of the night were dissipated: the ugly sight of a vicious murderer, walking free from a court room, thanking the corrupt judge, and smiling to the hapless “world press”, the thousands of women and children massacred by powerful armies over five continents, the despair of seeing a once great nation protecting the greedy, the torturers, the hordes of trolls masquerading under the symbols of hate and death…
As I write I hesitate to turn on the news. For it is mostly lies and irrelevance. This is not a place for a writer to tread: and it is Sunday, which used to be a day of peace.
Then I think of the small bird: this is a new day, and somewhere the angels are smiling, ready to turn the Devil and his legions to ashes.
Image: Visions from Hell, Paolo Girardi
The low growl of the city, and this feeble light that does not mean dawn: sleep has evaded me.
For I think of you: the multitude, you, who used to count for nothing, but now you do, and they know it.
The future belongs to you, a future full of light, full of hope.
The darkness, still to be defeated, grows weaker, and its cruelty more vicious, but you have much experience of that.
And so morning will come, chasing away the clouds, and the demons.