Depleted #3TC

Three Things Challenge: PL19

m1a1-wiki_c45-0-705-385_s885x516

 

uranium moss dancer

It was getting late. Slowly the officer laid the photo on the table. “Do you recognise what those are?” she asked me with a smile.

On the stage the one dancer started circling the pole. I looked down, and knew. “Hardened tank shells, probably depleted uranium. Fallujah?” I asked. She smiled again, “a little further West I suggest.”

“There is a say…” I replied: “Rolling stones don’t gather moss.”

“Thought not” she replied.

Image source: M1 Abrams battle tank, Wikimedia

Mists #writephoto

Mists

fog

 

The ground was frozen, and as he looked up at the pale disc of their star, recognising the landscape in the mists, inhaling the air, he remembered the desert, the infinite sand, the temples in the dunes. He was back. After all these years. Who would recognise him now? He had been a young man then, almost a boy still, who liked to play in those fields, who enjoyed feeling his growing strength, his supple body… He remembered their departure, the colours of the flags, the hymns, the long line of young men, just like him. He remembered her face, the laughter, the cries, the prayers – the wind in her hair.

He remembered the sand, rivers of blood flowing in the sand, the scorching heat of the day, the frozen nights… So many dreams scattered to the desert winds. Now, he was alone, perhaps the only one to have come back.

But who was left who would recognise this ghost, lost in the mists?

 

Heard #DailyPrompt

The Prompt

monster-moon

 

“Some of it is noise, even white noise, like a slow motor running empty… But sometime you can hear voices, far away, so it is hard to catch words, or even understand what language is spoken. And then there is the notes, the tunes, the sound of instruments one cannot put a name on…”

I was listening carefully, without seeing the person who was speaking: a melodious and calm woman voice, of an older woman, I thought. The place was one of those small, dark and ancient bars, this one hidden from view in a small courtyard, in a part of the city well off the beaten and touristy tracks.

“You have to be patient, give it time. At first you may not hear much, just a little vibration, like light wind in young leaves in Spring. But then you hear: steps, and again voices. If you are lucky, one of them may notice you, and start talking to you, personally. Of course you have to tune in, and be very patient. Then, all of a sudden, you understand: someone is talking to you, you, across those eons of time, across the immense void that separate their world from yours…”

I tried again to see who was talking. A coal fire was slowly burning in the old chimney, I could not see much through the smoke. I ordered another beer. As the girl brought it to my table, I asked her about the speaker. “You’re talking about old Lucy,” said the youngster, amused, “well, she’s here with the same story most evenings. She used to be an archeologist, she’s talking about one of the sites, somewhere in the Middle-East… She claimed to have heard voices, as she says… The poor lady got herself abducted by bedouins as she worked there, and reappeared here, years later… You know, she’s lost it, somewhere in the desert, all those years back….”

Image: © Nick Stevens

November retreat #WritersWednesday #amwriting

DSC_0205The place suited them, him, and his owl. The owl too loved the wilderness, the immense skies, the many creatures who inhabited the desert.

They had their routine. Before their night visit to the mountain, he would dismantle his weapon, in total obscurity, a puerile exercise practised eons ago, in the academy. Then, slowly, his long fingers recognising each part without hesitation, he would clean and reassemble the gun. He took great care of the lens, the cherished lens.

Then the two of them would take the trail, which started in the foothills, and was a little remote from their home. Acquiring night vision, after he fell, had been one of the many wonders of his new life: a gift for a sniper. That, and being free. They moved slowly, listening to the minute sounds of life, admiring the rocks, the miracles of the desert at night. They would travel as far as the cascade, high near the snow, drink and bathe, his pale body hardly visible in the moonshine. The owl loved hunting there.

Rarely they met a wanderer. Once a goon had tried to shoot the owl. That was one early morning, many years back. Then he had stood, silent, waiting, his anger slowly receding. When the man eventually saw him he dropped his gun. That day he let the goon live, and run away in terror.

In the heat of the day they kept to themselves, hidden, perhaps asleep, he himself had little use for food. Once or twice in the year he drove down to town, far below on the plateau, to fetch supplies for their home, sometime new boots, and books.

Now winter was near. The desert would soon wear a veil of ice. He loved the melody of the desert, when the temperature fell, and the earth dreamed of a new year.

#FiveSentenceFiction: Memories #Wupatki National Monument #NativeAmerican

Wupatki PuebloWe stood, silent, our eyes fixed on the painted desert: then you talked to me in the tongue of your ancestors, it was suddenly as if we were transported in time.

Children played on the circular ball ground, parents laughed, you spoke with them.

I saw the house, as it was then, in its splendour, full of happy people.

A joyful little troop came back from the fields, carrying basketfuls of corn cobs and fruits – I remember then what you’d said about those expert astronomers, canal builders and farmers…

I looked up at the cloudless sky, then, you said in English, your hand on my shoulder: “You see, that’s how it was, in the 14th century of your era, and we remember.”

#FiveSentenceFiction: Sunshine

Water scorpion by B.O.K.E. I love sand: I crawl around the dunes, from time to time coming up to the surface, looking for preys.

The birds know about me, and keep well away, of course, for I am no flyer, the others, well, good luck to them, I am so fast.

Mostly, I keep still, basking in the warmth of the sand, and at night, dug in deep below the surface (some of you know how cold it gets at night in the desert…)

Humans are funny, they mess around in their big boots, oblivious of life teeming around them, moronic bulls in the middle of marvels of nature.

Take me, for example, how could they ignore a three foot deadly scorpion not even well camouflaged, in ambush in the sunshine?