When we heard Yankees shootin pigs over to the Baggerly farm
us kids took to hollerin like the devil was at the back door.
Mama? She straightened her spine and instructed the boys to gather up Daddy’s oil cans.
Told us girls to tie sugar, salt, and flour in paraffin paper and cram the packets inside them cans.
Meanwhile, she poked chickens in flour sacks; hid em in the woods.
When the Yanks arrived, saw oil cans lined up in Mama’s kitchen
and pine pitch stuck in her honey-blonde hair, they declared her crazy and backed out the door.

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Each of us knows exactly what to do
when the village men are absent
and danger looms
within or without

Mother tutored me
Grandmother tutored her
The rules
set for three millennia
never change

Each carved symbol bespeaks a specific danger
Only we women know the meaning
Our shelters have been torched
Children have pox
Wolves plundered the winter store of venison

Much pride lies in the ease of our communication
No drums
No spurred horses
No rending of garments
Simply a red mark scratched upon a symbol

Then, Our Raven
takes wing
knowing
precisely
which flight-path is required

What Rumors Wrought

Posted: October 31, 2018 in Friday Fictioneers

Friday Fictioneers seems to happen every single Wednesday! Our merry band relies on Rochelle Wisoff-Fields to make it happen. We would be disappointed if there were no photo prompt to greet us first thing in the morning in the middle of the week.

Everyone said Liliana had a fire burning inside.
How did they know? Her eyes.
Most said they were evil eyes.
A few said Liliana had the kindest eyes they’d ever seen.
Several said when she looked upon them, they were instantly cured
of whatever ailed them.
Many said that after she glanced their way, they fell to the ground,
paralyzed. Never rose again.
But sure as I’m standing here, so were they.
Liars.
It took little time for the rumors to spread
both the good and the bad.
Now Liliana truly is on fire and
no one has said, “Stop!”

Invasion

Posted: October 24, 2018 in Uncategorized

In response to today’s photo prompt, kindly posted by our fearless leader, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, I’ve dipped my toes into the water of Sci-fi. Thanks to one and all who read my attempt! Happy Wednesday/Friday.

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

Tiny creatures skittered beneath the dome of Bento’s trap.
Some had eight legs, others too many to count.
The first in the collecton were brilliant red and smelled like newly fallen rain.
This last batch, these puce-colored, two-headed beasts filled the dome with the stench of carrion.
And the screeches! That was the worst.

Still, Bento knew it was up to him to gather each and every one.
Whether it was covered in feathers or scales;
fell from the sky at noon, midnight or three.

The first hoard ate his father, the second his mother and son.

 

Pegman took us to New Orleans today. Oh! What could be better to write about near Halloween than an old graveyard? Thanks, Pegman!

Fabiola read them bones better en anybody. Yes, sirree, she surely did.
Chucked em in a rusted coffee tin, rattled em up, throwed em right on the ground.
Mind you, the ground had to be soft sand or ruffled-up garden dirt.
No concrete nor asphalt.

She told us them bones were from coyotes or pigs.
But soon we notices dat graves being tampered with.
Not zactly dug up. No.
But holes appeared, like somebody done been using a clam gun.
Or something like dat.

Den one-by-one peoples whose ancestors been dug up started gettin sick. Fluenza. Rat-bite fever.
Well, by rights, we mens needed to protect our families
so we took old Fabiola and throwed her in Bayou Teche.
Felt good about it, too.

Funny thing? Since Fabiola been gone, bones been appearing in trees long the trail to the Teche.
Thems that see um rot from the inside out.

 

Pegman took us to Hyderabad, India today. While wandering around, I found this archway over the entrance to an Opera Garden. Wow! thought I, a great story can come out of this. Sorry, my muse took me to the dark side again and on such a sunny morning!

The day has been too long, too full of screamed accusations, loud music played to cover the sound of thrown objects shattering on walls and floors or breaking windows. And the hatred! That is the worst of it. And for no reason Siya can think of. The feeling permeates the air, tainting it with something she can almost smell. Like burnt chalk or a jar of desiccating rubberbands.

They love one another. She has proof. Some tangible, some not. Hugs. Small gifts of teddy bears and cotton candy. Snuggling on the couch when they are alone and the house is quiet. Walking hand-in-hand to the Erragadda Market. Tickling. Taking baths.

Shouted words rumble up the stairs into her bedroom. “Touch her again I will rip you apart with my bare hands!”
“Oh, Baba.” Siya presses her hands over her tiny ears and finally begins to cry.

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Photo by Sandra Crook

Souls come to me. Some blacker than the inside of midnight, others so bright they dim the light of stars.
From the beginning of time, we each stored them in the manner we saw fit.

Father kept souls in driftwood. Grandfather stored them inside tiny grains of sand.
Feathers. Leaves. Moss.
Each generation has a plan better than the last.

I chose shells, for they come in different shapes and sizes.
Small ones for babies, spiked ones for mean old men.
Sadly it ends here. There is no next generation.
I sweep up my collection and throw it into the sea.