I can still feel his warm strength as we curled together on
the couch that morning. “You know I have to go, right? It’ll only be six months. Not long. And when I get back, we’ll get married. Promise.”
I turn my head to smile up at him. “My spaceman.” He grins, and his arms
tighten around me. “I just can’t believe I got in! In my last year!’
I keep the smile on my face as best I can, until
the door closes behind him, and he’s gone.
I still dream the countdown. The numbers harsh in my ears, behind my
tightly closed eyelids. If I’m lucky, I wake before zero. I didn’t even
watch him go.
My ancestors followed the songlines, and found home. So I play. I play
a songline for him. And one day he will hear it, and hold on…and I
will lead him home.
(This is written for Angela Goff’s weekly Visual Dare prompt, my first offering, hope it works. I also wrote a longer piece, just to get the story straight in my head…I think it stands alone, and I’m going to put it here (in another post) in case anyone wants to see. ;p)
I need a favor…this is the beginning of a wip…not sure whether it‘s big enough to build a whole book on, may be just a short…but most importantly, what do you think? Is it worth continuing with? Please comment with any opinions, positive or negative…please try to make any critism constructive, if possible.
Thanks in advance,
“Stumbling down the icy cold streets, she paused for a panting breath, one trembling hand in its filthy fingerless gloves leaning on the equally filthy wall of the alley, the other holding her slightly extended stomach, protectively. Whispering sound emerged from her, head down. From someone less desperate and half-frozen, they would have been words. “its gonna be ok, love. i promise. just a little more…”
Hot tears threatened to freeze on her cheeks until she shook them off, impatiently. With one last deep breath that ended in a coughing fit, she pushed off the wall and continued her stumbling run. Her eyes darted from side to side, looking desperately for some sign of civilization, someplace to hide, but just as in the past 48 hours, the city stood empty and echoing, a giant rat maze with her as the cheese.“
Just a little fan-girling…I -love- Stephen Kings “Firestarter”, I have ever since I first read it, at twelve yrs. old. I didn’t watch the movie till years later, didn’t want to spoil the book…but I was surprised to find that I liked both. As long as I thought of them as separate but related stories, they were both awesome. I love Drew Barrymore, and she was so cute in her angst-filled rage… ;p
Anyway, here is my little tribute, a short-story-ish non-canon look into the world of the Firestarter, part one. Enjoy. 🙂
The old cars long familiar motion failed to soothe, and Charlie shifted, restlessly, head pounding with the rhythm of the wheels. “You ok, baby?” Her fathers voice was intentionally low, and his eyes sympathetic as he met her pained gaze. Forcing a shaky smile for his sake, she nodded…and winced. “It’s ok, daddy. Just a little headache. Just need to sleep…”
His nod said that he knew the truth, but like her, he would let it be for now. “You do that, baby. Get some sleep. We’ll be stopping for gas pretty soon…maybe even get a motel room. You’d like that, hmm?” She smiled again, and kept her exhausted sigh as internal as she could. “Mm-hmm. That’d be nice. Love you, daddy.” “I know you do, baby. Love you more…” A tired grin was his reward, before she turned her face to the darkness outside the window and deliberately closed her eyes.
He sighed, carefully keeping both hands on the wheel although he longed to reach out and touch her soft hair…to reassure himself that she was still real, still there, still with him. Not like…the other. He shook his head, quickly, banishing the thought before it could take hold. All his concentration must be on the road, on keeping them safe, keeping moving. But god, he was tired.
The lights were sharp and white when Charlie woke from her half-doze, glaring through the windshield, reflecting the exhausted face of her father pitilessly in the glass. She winced again, and deliberately pasted on a bright smile before shifting in her seat as if just waking. He glanced over at her as he pulled into a spot under the canopy. “Just getting gas, like I said. Do you want anything? A soda, some chips? We can get some real food once we get to the motel, ok?” She just nodded, then shook her head, gently. “I’m ok. I…I’m not hungry.” He searched her eyes, then nodded as he got out of the car. “Just let me know, ok?”
She was pretty sure she’d never be hungry again, not with the memory of her last meal still so fresh in her head. The phantom taste of her mothers grilled cheese sandwich stuck like glue to her mind, mingling with the scent of tomato soup…and the other. Angrily, she brought her hand to her cheek, brushing away the memory and the tears that began to leak from her eyes. No. Not thinking of that. They were both scrupulously avoiding any hint of what they’d left behind, and as far as she was concerned she’d like it to stay that way forever. “Ok, daddy. I promise.”
Curling into herself, she watched him move around the car, pumping gas, moving to go into the brightly lit store that stood like an island port in the darkness, the big rigs like ships around it. This image amused her, and she began to embellish the picture, adding the sounds of creaking sails and excited voices, her active mind keeping itself busy as it always had, her favorite toy.
In the store, he gathered a few bottles of soda, a box of crackers, and a brightly furred little bear, and moved quickly to the cashier. Placing his items on the counter, he kept a bright but somewhat harassed look on his face. “Hi. I’m sorry to ask, but is there any chance you can cash a hundred? I’m traveling with my little girl, and I forgot to get change…” She sighed, smiling down at the little bear, then up at him. “I’m not supposed to…but all right. For the little one.”
His smile warmed, and he reached in his pocket for a worn one dollar bill. Holding the bill folded close in his hand so that their hands touched as he passed it over, he summoned the picture of a one hundred dollar bill into his mind. Worn, but not too much, a crease across Franklins face, a reassuringly recognizable bill. Holding the picture, he concentrated with all his strength as she carefully counted out his change, bagged his items, and handed them to him. He almost staggered as he pulled away, the sudden exhaustion that always accompanied use of his gift almost overwhelming him…but the thought of Charlie waiting out in the car gave him a burst of manic strength as he hurried back out the doors into the night.
I sit up on the hill and watch until the fireworks fade, one hand idly twirling my ID badge on its distinctive red-white-and-blue lanyard.
Once the last sparkles have fallen into the lake, and the fire crews nearly have the blaze under control, I pull my worn and tattered little black book out of my pack. I remove the knotted rubber bands that hold the cover shut against the straining within, and carefully open it to one particular page.
With a grin, I take the worn stub of pencil from behind my ear, and make a checkmark next to “Fireworks Technician”. One more off the list. Then, carefully placing my ID badge (sans lanyard) between the pages, I reclose the little book and replace it in my pack, which I then throw over my shoulder.
Leaving the lanyard behind, tied in a pretty bow around the box of sprinklers I’d used to set the blaze, I turn my nose toward the moon, and set off in Her direction once again. Wonder what’s next…
the black cat sits and thinks
what are you thinking, cat?
will I ever know?
rain falls in my garden
but the sky is light
are the seagulls crying?
Behind her veil of stars
the moon peers at the earth
and winks at me.
a streak of red lightning
he zips through the air
and the world is brighter