Conflict

via Daily Prompt: Brave

Brave

Frozen in fear I stared at it, a few feet away blocking my passage. My feet would not move, my heart thumping in my chest as a cold sweat began to trickle down my forehead. For how long we faced each other, engaged in a battle of wills as we were, I do not know, but thoughts of my family permeated my mind mingled with the abject terror I felt.

What would I do? I must protect my children, my pets, my beloved wife of so many years, yet the horror I felt screamed for me to run away, to leave them to their fate; that they would understand and patiently wait for my return. The conflicting needs rooted me even more than the fear; the compilation of the two making me a virtual statue.

The A/C clicked on, the loudness of it in the terror-filled silence making me twitch. It twitched in response, making me gasp in fear. It was enough to break the immobility and push me to action; push me to think first for the safety of my family. Slowly, as if moving through cement, I raised my leg and extended it forward, my foot in the lead. It watched my every step and I caught with a quick eye, that tiny contraction of its legs in preparation for a jump.

It was now or never I knew. This would be my only chance at victory and failure would encase me in a web of fear that I could not struggle free from. NOW! I screamed in my head. NOW! and with great effort I slammed my foot forward and down in such blazing speed that my foe was caught unaware, not expecting such a decisive attack. Helplessly the spider was squished beneath my foot.

In that moment I had never felt so brave.

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Daily Prompt: Succumb

Succumb

Succumb, it called to her, crashing against her resolve like the storm surge from a Category Five Hurricane. She weakened but her storm walls held, refusing to be another Galveston. She would not let those relentless waves claim her.

Yet it persisted, assaulting her senses, penetrating her mind, constantly luring her into its depths.  Succumb, it wafted to her, taking a softer approach, inviting her to look into its depths, to see its worth and to accept what it had to offer-the promise of total comfort and satisfaction.

It was hard, her life had been so full of twists of late, the stressors so dominating.  A failed business yet rent still due; her children struggling to find a life of their own; her aging dogs greying and limping, it was all so pervasive.

Succumb, it soothed, and she shook her head. Succumb, it entreated and she gripped fiercely to the edges of the counter, her knuckles white.  Succumb, it promised wonderful relief and peace.

“Oh fuck it!” She said, picking up the fork and stabbing into the bubbling tin of macaroni and cheese.

Cloaked

Cloaked

I laughed at him then, cloaked in bravado as he was while standing amidst hastily arranged tables as hungry ears begged to be fed his rousing tale of heroic deed. Inwardly, of course, my pitying mirth was contained so as to not give offense- he was the King’s favored after all- so I allowed him his exaggeration to boost his fragile self-worth.  A cloak is many things, but it is not armor, and thus easily pierced.

10,000 foe easily becomes less than a thousand; an irresistible sword becomes one of thoughtless slaughter.

We all have cloaks, of course, because it is a garment to conceal, whether from the cold, the rain, or from each other; some having more use than others.  I have had many for I am of the    Ill-bred, one of the users of deep and mysterious powers forbidden in the realm. One for the beggar, one for the merchant, one for the priest, one for the trusted advisor, and one for the man who sits in the corner drinking ale, listening to the boasts of a noble fool.  Each hanging on hook, pulled down and replaced when I call for its use.

Laughing once again-to myself of course-I drain the last dregs and set my crock at ease, rising to leave as I have learned what I came to know.  To the door I stride, to the fresh night air and the path I set before me.

“Sir, sir!” a voice calls to me.

I turn to see a young soldier with a garment in his hand. “Yes?” I inquire.

“It seems you have forgotten your cloak.”

I smile warmly at him.  “Keep it, you will have more need of it than I.”

 

Fraud, A Poem

The whispered promise of life-long bliss,
The gold-crowned frog, the stolen kiss,
The princess heart so love-struck bleeds
The Shining Knight, the heroic deeds

So read, so told to young mind callow
Seeding dreams in young mind fallow
To reap, to pluck the fruited verse
Harvesting the crops of a fruited curse

The damage done by inculcasion
The gilded view, the expectation
The crushing truth of realization
To crash, to fall with timely nod
Bursting asunder the life-long fraud

Fraud
via Daily Prompt: Fraud

Daily Prompt: Tame, An Unkind Word

Tame

A simple word,
So gentle on its surface.
A pleasant word,
Cloaking unkind purpose.
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Has there ever been a word so contrary to existence? to the very nature of the universe? Yet it is the goal of socialist governments and utopian dreamers.  Tame the human spirit to control the masses; tame the human spirit to create a world of bland sameness and emotional equity.

A ruse, a poison apple, a tainted lure served on a silver platter, yet so many willingly pull their chair to the table and feast on roasted fallacy.