Stranger

Smile, he thought, as the beautiful stranger came towards him. Her accent; swoon. Trouble! Trips on own shoes. And, she’s gone. Curse!

 

(Inspiration:  The words are trouble, accent, smile, curse, stranger and shoes.)

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The accident

It was the silence that woke me. Gasping for breath, I claw at the blankets that suffocate me. Oozing cuts need my attention, blood blossoming on the sheets. The shower brings life back to my limbs, as I move tenderly, sore and broken from the night before.

A beeping phone beckons me and I lift the phone to find countless missed calls from my parents. “Where are you? Are you OK?” text message after text message demands.

Yellow and purple bruising mark my skin. Whiplash has made my head ache and pound. I replay the events of the night in my mind.

The ferocious arguments, again and again; I made a split decision.

Hitting the gas instead of the brakes, trying to drive the anger away. Metal tearing and us, flying through the air. Unluckily for him, the impact was too much. Red and blue lights. Death. Endless questions from police with clipboards.

Ruining a life in order to save mine.

(Inspiration: the prompt ‘the first letter of each sentence spells a message that contradicts or adds to the story’.)

A beginning

Sunlight streams through my curtain. The smell of cut grass too sweet for the morning.

She is in the kitchen. Her voice twinkling up the stairs and twirling under my door. She sounds happy.

Whisk raised, drips egg, shells ooze behind her on the bench. Thick crusty bread drowning in the mixture. The frying pan dances with hot butter.

She turns to face me. Spatula annotating her words. Her face glows red from the heat of the stove top.

“I have a surprise for you”. And I know. So I sit at the table and wait for breakfast.

Scene

Gravel crunched under her shoes, the path winding around roots of tall majestic kauri and bright yellow trumpeting kōwhai. The air dripped with the sweet nectar of native bird song, pierced occasionally with the shrill sound of cicadas, basking on the limbs of the trees. Fantails flittered through the greenery, tūī cocked their embellished throats, white pearls snuggled under their chins. An eerie tranquility pervaded, the heavy breath of nature lingering in the air. Although she was in the shade the heat was almost unbearable, her shirt beginning to cling to her. Stumbling over truant roots, she kicked up small clouds of debris in her rush to reach the other end.

Lily

A crashing tidal wave that rippled for months.

Beating both medicine and biology to join, so loyal to our family from day one.

Nine months of endless surges of sea-sickness, endless tears, endless pain.

Disbelief. Just months after your sister’s birth.

You arrived under a glowing moon, no easy swell or waves to ride.

Big dumping waves. Bold full stops of pain, under a glowing moon.

Over before the sun rose, quick and terrifying.

A bundle of energy, never still, never quiet.

Long sweeps of your downy temple calming you, as our breath became one.

Days, endless, never-ending days, spent rocking, shushing and swaying.

You and me. A constant blur of movement, undulating like the sea.

My pāua baby.

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(Inspiration: Daily Post prompt: survive. Allllll we did in the first two years of Lily)

Eva

“Māmā I touched the sky,” you trilled. Toes pointed towards the clouds, head tossed back, grin reaching for the heavens.

The swings squeaked with every arch and we watched as the bird wheeled above us, mimicking the cry of the steel. Within seconds, the moment snatched away on the wind and we’re off to the next attraction.

“It’s stopped wind-ing now,” you yelled at me as you scaled the rickety, rusted slide. Up, up, up, each step taking you further away from me. “Oh no, it is blowing my hair,” you called. “It’s wind-ing again.” Early morning car rides listening to audiobooks came to light as you recalled The Wild Wet Wellington Wind by “Joy Crowlrey!”

“Count in mow-dee Māmā,” you shouted. Tahi through to tekau, I heard whispers of you reciting the numbers along with me. “Rua, turtle, wha, rima…” Tekau becomes ‘go!’ and you pushed yourself off, gravity pulling you back down to me, safe in my arms once again.

“I did it Māmā,” you proudly announced, your growing independence both breaking and swelling my heart at once. And then you’re off again, hair flying behind you, cheeks rosy red from wind and excitement, off to test that confidence again.

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Notes:

The Wild Wet Wellington Wind, is by Joy Cowley. It is a poem that evokes the, funnily enough, wild Wellington wind, and was published in 1986 by the Department of Education.

Eva-ese:

‘wind-ing’ = windy. But as a three year old we’re still learning about which suffixes you add to words to change their meaning. Pronounced like wind (the wind is blowing) with ‘ing’ at the end, not like winding the bobbin.

‘mow-dee’ = Māori.

‘turtle’ = the Māori word for three, aka toru.

To count to ten in Māori = tahi, rua, toru, whā, rima, ono, whitu, waru, iwa, tekau.

 

via Daily Prompt: Radiate