Posts Tagged ‘death’

This week, Pegman transported us to Peleliu, a WW II battlefield. Thanks for an inspiring place to write! I’ve never heard of this island or its history. Ah, so much to learn, so little time. (P.S. “Urasai” means “Shut Up”)

“I don’t know who these kids think they are! Trash on the altar!”
“Kozue, they mean no harm.”
“Hush! You know nothing! They come, laugh at the statues, fornicate on the steps, play loud music and dance! They show no respect for those who died here.”
Realizing his wife will drone on for a very long time, Hideshi allows her words to fade to the far recesses of his mind even as unwelcome memories float before his eyes: Blood Tears Broken limbs Missing limbs. And into his ears: Screams Threats Commands Gunfire Gunfire Gunfire rat-a-tat-tat. Over and over and over. And the smell of death: Festering wounds Urine Excrement Blood.
Ah, to have memories of this ungodly battlefield replaced by thoughts of beautiful young girls making love with curious boys, the smell of perfume, the scent of too much aftershave, the glorious sound of laughter, music, and sighs . . .
“Kozue! Urusai!”

At the time Douglas Mawson and his partner Xavier Mertz were struggling to survive in the Antarctic by eating the livers of their dogs, it wasn’t known that Husky liver contains extremely high levels of vitamin A. Such levels of vitamin A can cause liver damage to humans. With six dogs between them (with a liver on average weighing 1 kg), it is thought that the pair ingested enough liver to bring on a condition known as Hypervitaminosis A.

Mawson looked at the thin blue icicle
hanging off the peak of his tent.
He needed to move or he would freeze
along this hellish coast of the Antarctic.

Mawson chewed the last bit of husky liver
and strapped on his crampons.
An hour later he tumbled into a crevasse.
Saved because the sledge wedged tightly into the ice above him,
Mawson struggled out using the harness attached to the sledge.
Tired, hungry and hallucinating, he trudged forward on bleeding feet.

Heart thumping he climbed the hill above base camp
and watched his rescue ship, the Aurora, disappear over the horizon.

It’s Wednesday – Friday again! Doug, thanks for this picture. There’s so much going on it was difficult to decide what to write about. Most of all it made me want to go to a warm beach and collect flotsam and jetsam that has floated up on the sand. Thanks, Rochelle, for keeping our merry band of writers on our toes.

Time seemed jumbled – years piled upon years.
People from all over the world visited Toyashi,
bringing shells, beads, bottles, rocks.
Payment was not important.
In return he healed their wounds
with elixirs he himself created.

He loved many who had come,
stayed, then died.

At first the years arrived like storms
full of laughter and dancing.
Later they resembled warm summer days
he wanted to last forever.
Now they are cold and never ending.
Like Toyashi.

The one thing people asked for –
knew he had –
was the secret to eternal life.
That elixir Toyashi would not share
and wished he’d never found.

Too Late

Posted: August 29, 2014 in Friday Fictioneers
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WILD LIFE

Hog grass, spindle weed and seven spider eyes
are lined neatly beside the ancient bowl
carved by Jim the Cripple.
One more ingredient and Balenchia ‘s village will be saved.
Woolen skirt lifted high above her knees, she runs across the sand
to the pond where the Eedysed larvae hangs.
Nibble fingers pluck the moist tangle from its lair.
Balenchia races back.
Drops ingredients in the bowl in the exact order
listed on the papyrus scroll.
She chants. Drizzles cat blood on top.
Poultice done, Balenchia smiles.
The blanket over the door flips open.
Her brother announces, “All are dead.”

The Twin

Posted: August 6, 2014 in Friday Fictioneers
Tags: , , , , ,

Friday Fictioneers has reared it’s pretty head once more. This is my contribution at 101 words. Thanks, Bjorn, for the thought provoking picture. I’m sure this desolate building will inspire some sad tales this week.

Björn 6

First, German tanks rolled through
shelling buildings to rubble.
Next came Russians, finally Americans.

People hid in basements between
walls humming with the weight
of the enormous machines
rumbling past their
front doors.

When the soldiers were gone
Francine’s entire family was dead.
The neighbors who remained buried
Momma, Pappa, and baby Michelle
in what was left of the cemetery.

But Francine had hidden Franklin
in her pretty pink room.
Arranged him in the chair Pappa gave
her for Christmas.

She placed weak tea and crumbled cookies
on the stool beside him
saying, “Momma told me I must
always look after you.”