A quiet one this week, just the two of us. It’s still working though, still getting me writing regularly instead of just thinking about maybe writing something one day. I’ve just had FB memories popping up today reminding me of one of the books I’ve actually nurtured from conception to reality, so that’s a boost for me too. Proves we can actually do something if we set out with determination and follow things through all the way. Anyway, enough bunkum from me. Here are this week’s entries for Flashes of Inspiration.
Sacrifice – by Tabatha Wood
There are slivers of glass in the flesh of my palms. Fragments slick and weeping. My fingers shake as I tweeze them out. A myriad slices ooze dark red. I lick the wounds and suck the swell. Warm and wet and strangely sweet. I move my head. Each eyeball bursts — a coruscating kaleidoscope of colour. I don’t remember how I got here.
I wanted to go home. But not like this.
Kahlibran deceived us, he cursed us all to lose. He lied to me, to all of us, that damned toe-rag prevaricator. He entered with such charm and sweetness, he pulled me in completely. I opened up my heart and legs to him, he took more than he gave. We stole our moments hidden from the great exalted ones, when I passed the cup and moved the dead, enchanted by his golden voice. We danced, entwined, our bodies flowing water-glorious, with palms that touched in tender kisses. I didn’t know that it was wrong. Nobody had ever told me any different.
Locked out. Locked down. We barricaded all our needs inside his trust. Resplendent in our sacrifice. Whatever happened beyond those doors was none of our concern. After the deficit. Sanctioned by change. It was never that we lost our hope, more that we understood that change could only enter through us. Not because of us.
So Kahlibran severed all the lines, and rendered us ‘incommunicado’. I savoured the shock and the sudden untethering. I thought that we were free. We traveled, eager, back in time, or that was how it felt. History is almost always written by the victor. Regretfully, so much of it is lies.
He gathered us in the dining hall. His magic spell already well rehearsed. Three dozen glasses lined up waiting, he siphoned ardent promises into each cup. A serpent’s smile, dead eyed and soulless, it gripped my throat as hard as his pale fists.
Fragments, like the piercing glass, memories of revolt and protest. A sudden chilling realisation, the contract we’d all signed. I strode and swept and shattered glasses fell around like teardrops. Iridescent shards of rage and fear. And then, a hand, heavy on my shoulders, thrusting, heaving angrily towards the floor.
Within my darkness, sisters wept and acquiesced. They did as they were disciplined to do. They drank his lies.
They wanted to go home. But not like this.
The Dance – by Dion Winton-Polak
It’s all fluidity. Nothing is static. Understand that and you understand almost everything.
Lie down with your eyes closed. Try to be as still as you can.
Now, extend your senses. Feel your breath filling your lungs, gently expanding them, rushing out again. In and out. Never the same air, you’ll note. Never the same breath.
Your blood throbs in your neck, in your wrist, rushing through your veins, around and around. It, too, changes. Slender membranes in your tissues welcome oxygen in, nutrients pour through your ever-pulsing body, feeding you, fixing you, keeping you strong. You lie there, still as still can be, yet the motion never stops.
Push out now, beyond yourself. Hear the wind outside, carrying the stuff of life in its own sacred breath; rustling leaves, rattling latches, crossing all borders. It cannot be contained. Nothing can.
Hold your breath. How long can you hold it? How long can you stay still? Even the dead, rotting in their graves, rattle on. They bubble and sink, are swallowed or seep, and the change and the cha-cha goes on.
To touch is to change and be changed. Even the hardest of hearts must bow to my invitation.
The very atoms in steel and stone whirl to my music, though they try to stand stoically firm. Nuclear families switch partners swiftly, laughing as they fly through the microscopic firmament. Embraces are swift, electric. Alters them on a chemical level.
They care not a fig. This is life!
Out once more.
Wait for night. Douse the lights and gaze up, up into the expanse. See me at my work. See my cloak coruscating with stars, nebulae, galaxies ever-flowing, ever shifting.
It is the dance you see, eternal and glorious.
You cannot sit it out. You cannot hide, shy of creation, incommunicado. Toe-rag or angel, wretched or royal; all play their part in the dance.
And when the music ceases? What then?
Why the band will strike up again. If not mine, then some other conductor. It does not matter who.
What use envy? What can be owned when life flies and everything moves along? There is no Us and Them. We belong together. You are me. I am you. Unified, holistic and whole.
Understand this and you understand almost everything.
Okay, that’s your lot for now. I’ll be away at a wedding next weekend, then at WorldCon the weekend following. Oh, and then at The Big Tribute the weekend following that, so I’m not quite sure how we’ll manage to go on. Hm. Perhaps I’ll switch back to Thursday as a way to get around it. Keep your eyes peeled. Until then, keep writing.