Respite, the oasis. Ever an illusion out of reach. She possessed an overwhelming yearning to escape the dunes of her self doubt. Each grain: regret, anger and sadness; creating the towering hills of her internal hell. The landscape never changing. Up one sandy crest, only to slide down to the foot of another. How long had she wandered through this desert?
Sometimes, she would get enough energy to run. The sand fell away beneath her dirty bare feet as she raced towards the peak. Her chest burned with each breath, and the dryness in her throat felt like swallowed needles. She kept her focus on the summit before her, pumping her arms in determination. As she reached the apex of the ominous ridge, she jumped, and spread her arms out to take flight.
“What you fail to understand, Hailey, is that we’re just worker ants in this scenario. And we’re going to continue to be just worker ants, unless we aspire to be more.” Annette flipped her hair over her shoulder and shook her head, causing her blonde tresses to shimmer like sun hitting water in a stream. She dipped her chin and looked at me over the rim of her glasses, “I’m aiming to be queen of the hill. Where does that leave you?”
I was quiet for a moment. A wave of irritation washed over me at her revelation, and I tried my best to push it aside. Ambition was a double edged sword, and I was certain Annette had no clue which side did what. She struck me as the type of person who just lashed out blindly, hoping any slice she made got her closer to her goal. The mask she wore was crafted by layers of designer makeup, which she no doubt lost sleep over to apply each morning. As I stared at the empty, relentless vessel before me, I considered where I might be in five years if I held her position.
Her senses were heightened as she flipped through the faded photographs. The smooth surfaces slid easily beneath her fingertips, like a fresh deck of cards. A musty scent wafted from the wooden box, mingling with the cool summer air. The sprinkler clicked rhythmically, spraying water on the yellowing grass to the side of the house. The mist drifted on the breeze to tingle against her arm, prompting gooseflesh. As she slid her tongue along her lips, she could taste the tangy remnants of the lemonade from the empty glass sitting on the table. She stared at the features of the girl in the photo at the top of the stack before her.
He remembered the day the crown was placed upon her brow. The power she immediately commanded. The instantaneous praise of those bowing before her.
Greg wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed. After working with him for five years, Arnold felt he had spent an acceptable amount of time with Greg to have such an impertinent opinion. Greg was the type that evoked cringeworthy feelings from Arnold at the thought of conversation. Arnold wasn’t sure if Greg was just missing a few screws, or if he was trying to be as pessimistic and argumentative as possible whenever he opened his mouth. The thought intrigued Arnold, if it was all an elaborate act, the guy deserved an Oscar.
“Why does the willow weep?” the girl asked her mother, blue eyes shining with curiosity. Her mother’s lips curved into a knowing grin and looked to the tree, as if visiting a distant memory. The girl looked to the tree as well, eager for an answer to her question. The girl tugged lightly at her mother’s hand hanging at her side. “Is it sad, mommy?”
The mother knelt to her daughter’s height and brushed light-brown bangs back from the round face of her child. Nodding, she replied, “Yes my dear, the willow is sad. And that is why it weeps.”
The girl furrowed her brow and looked to the tree, then back to her mother, “But why is it sad?”
Bubbles had never paid much attention to life outside the bowl, until he became the new centerpiece for the bakery display table. Suddenly, he couldn’t help but notice all the sugar his diet was lacking. The circular bowl did little to ease his cravings. As the thoughts slipped from his small mind when he swam away, they soon reemerged as he circled back. It was a bitter cycle.
Inktober 2016: Hungry
The savanna was busy, as usual. Claire was having trouble counseling the zebras on individuality, again. Inwardly, she knew it was a wasted effort. Yesterday she had taken the approach of safety: blending in was a good thing, less chance of being eaten. That is when the subject of blending in become a crisis for the young millennial zebras.
Laugher erupted from the small bluff behind her. She glanced over her shoulder to see the lone hyena seated comfortably on his haunches. His tongue lulled from his mouth and his eyes were shut tightly, the air escaping his lungs in spurts and snorts.
Claire let out a deep sigh and turned to face the hyena, shaking her finger as she spoke, “This isn’t a laughing matter!”
Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt: Test
Via Daily Post
The safety pin pierced her lip without objection. The sensation of the needle pressing into her finger cued her of success; her lip numbed from a trip to the dentist earlier that day removed the potential for a pain hurdle. The mirror reflected the small, gold pin jutting from her lower lip. Her initial reaction had a tinge of fear, she had never imagined carrying out this type of act before. But as she examined the golden metal and the slight curve of her lips, she realized she was smiling. She was seventeen, she was making a choice, and now she looked pretty bad ass.
The act of teenage rebellion had resulted in many tests to follow. The first being the fine line of support and discipline from her parents. When her mother noticed her lip for the first time, she had yelled at her daughter to remove it, not to return to the dinner table until she had taken it out. Her daughter missed a meal that night.
Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt: Facade
Via Daily Post: Facade
The wall had always been there. She’d grown alongside it; her height increasing each year, the stones chipping and weathering in turn. The realization that the top of the structure didn’t reach the moon had been the last wonder of her childhood to be dashed to bits. Now it was merely a canvas for aspiring artists in her eyes. It was a right of passage to create a mural on the wall that didn’t get painted over, and this is what she found herself striving for.
Alice was soft spoken, shy and unassuming, but she had aspirations to be more. Although she lacked a special skill to contribute to the community, she knew the beauty trapped within her mind would make up for her deficit. She was no savant, and she had to hone her abilities. So she began the habit of trekking along the wall each day, leading her far from the settlement. She had been lucky to discover a slight curve in the wall that offered some seclusion so that she could practice painting.