Tag Archives: death

The Buffalo Haiku

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1

Like the buffalo
into unforgiving earth
some mem’ries we lose

2

Ride again the horse
that toss’d its rider, but stopp’d
cold before the brink

3

We might run and die
or run into wind alive
grass for company

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Dead (97)

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This image was provided by Madison Woods as inspiration for the Friday Fictioneers.

A body discovered. A person disappeared.

She died there, in the cold dark before dawn, when the air is thin like a blade. Ice crystals formed on her lashes and in the corners of her eyes.

I imagine these tears escaped at the last moment, when only a subconscious would be left, before her lungs and heart stilled, but the breath was already slight. She would not have cried before, even if she were afraid.

I would have cried.

Beautiful enough and worthless enough to be killed in some archaic performed artistry. Oh, what have we sacrificed.

For more flashes prompted by this image, and to learn more about flash fiction, visit Madison Woods and explore the Friday Fictioneers.

Discount

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“Today only,” she announced,
“a twenty per cent discount
is available.”
She had long hair dyed green
neon like a sign
and she stood announcing
on a street corner like any prostitute
with a sign hung round her neck.

“Today!” she announced.
“Enhance your mood!
Take off the edge!
Breathe easier,” she cried, “today.”

And then she smiled
straight white teeth
and hard lines of lipstick
cutting an image of the better world
she offered.

Slipping the sign off she held it high
so that the truck driver, idling at red
would see that he could get high
for a discounted price. He flashed
a crooked grin; she was flawless.

“We can make you happy,”
she announced
and she winked.
“Joy in your veins, joy in your belly,
we can keep you happy.
It’s available now, today only
for a twenty per cent discount.”

The truck driver turned
to a vacant lot on his left. He parked
and cut the engine.
He had seen the sign. He was tired;
he wanted to take the edge off.
She crossed the street
she took his money

and, folding the sign,
led him to a room where he could sit
above the skyline. There she shot him.

Three suits came for the body
and that was the truck driver
disappeared
for a twenty per cent discount.

For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, Kelly Garriott Waite challenged me with “today only: twenty percent discount,” and I challenged Sir with “walking the tightrope.”

To Starve (98)

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This image was provided by Madison Woods as inspiration for the Friday Fictioneers

We die slowly.

Our mothers bring scraps, our fathers weep. For us, the politicians come making speeches; they declare what is right and what is wrong. They call for money, always more money. We watch and are subdued, as they cry out, with fists of rage to wave at injustice.

From where we lay, collapsed into the earth, we see a world like ash. Dust blows over us and we close our eyes. At the last, each of us is alone.

Yet together we are millions, hungry and quiet. Is this the wasteland? Is this the promised heaven?

For more flashes prompted by this week’s photo, and to learn more about flash fiction, visit Madison Woods and explore.

Flash Fiction: Frozen (100)

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Image Prompt Supplied by Madison Woods for the 100-Word Flash

This is where I live.

It is cold.

And ancient now.

 

Sometimes my eyelashes freeze and I pinch my fingers round them when I am back inside with my gloves off.

 

But me? I don’t miss wet dew or soft grass that crushes and never breaks underfoot.

I don’t miss leafy trees or blooming shrubs.

I miss only the gently drifting snow, the sharp sun of new morning.

 

A snowing cold is not so lonely. Even pale sun, it needn’t be bright…but this frozen monotony, this always-frost, this gray…

I am just tired. I am tired and going to sleep.

 

For more stories prompted by this image, visit Madison Woods and explore the rest of the Friday Fictioneers!

*Flash Fiction: Home

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Dear soulful readers,

As a Fictioneer participating in Madison Woods‘s *FridayFlash, I bring you my second 100-word story.

Flash fiction is an exercise for creative writers that allows them to play with words and ideas in a very limited space (sometimes up to 500 words, but generally less). Being concise pushes our creative buttons, shifting us into a higher imaginative gear.

*The FridayFlash (FF) is a gaggle of bloggers writing 100-word pieces in response to a picture posted by Madison Woods in her Thursday blog.

This week’s photo:

This image is brought to you by Inspiration Point, the place for reconsidering.

Home

In the morning woods, I found a man crumpled among the leaves, skin yellowed in pain. I tried to move him, tried to lift him up. He held my eyes, nodded once. His blood was warm on my hands and my sleeves. When he was finally arranged across the saddle, he let out an animal noise, soft but wild. Then he was quiet.

A horse knows its rider, senses confidence and anger and sorrow in a rounded shoulder or slump. And horses know the way home, always ride it fast.

So, my horse and I, we took the man home.

Death by Slight Discomfort

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Today I imagined that I was dying in class. First, my skin began to fill up and my body took on a doughy and large quality. After that, I imagined turning colors (maybe a lavender to pale green to blueish to deep purple) and slowly asphyxiating. Then I fell over and the whole class looked first surprised and then horrified, as the flabby mass of my new body hiccupped out of life.

I did imagine my professor would scream, although not because she seems especially inclined to the dainty. Rather, I would probably also scream upon witnessing such a — calamity?

I told Richard about this image and he suggested that it might be an excellent premise for a short story — the idea being that students who were feeling any amount of discomfort, whether related to a need to pee or a sense of disagreement with a professor, would immediately experience the same symptoms and eventually keel over dead.

We both thought this was exceptionally funny and considered that professors would become extremely lenient and agreeable if the threat of student-deaths hung so imminently in the classroom air.

I will confess that my discomfort was wholly related to a lack of sleep which induced a sore neck (not precisely sure on the connections here), but that I was happy in knowing that my imagination still seemed functional.