#vss365

June 10, 2018

 

#vss365 on Twitter 

365 days of very short stories

 

June 5th - prompt: swallow

 

The truth is often hard to swallow she thought as she looked down at her palm. She clutched a slip of paper that held her past and her future, folded tight. A DNA test that would tell her who her real parents were & whether she had been raised by strangers.

 

*Edited: The truth is often hard to swallow she thought as she looked down at her palm. She clutched a slip of paper that held her past and her future, folded tight. A DNA test that would tell her who her real parents were. She crumpled it in her hand.

 

June 6th - prompt: conjuring

 

My mind plays tricks, conjuring old, forbidden memories from dusty spaces and locked cabinets like secrets stashed beneath a bed or kept under lock & key, out of sight yet never forgotten - always lingering at the edges, waiting to be discovered and set free.

 

 

June 7th - prompt: six

 

Once upon a time, there were six sisters.

 

One died by juice of poison; one by the prick of a needle & spinning thread.

 

One devoured by wolves; one kidnapped by dwarves; one locked high in a tower forever.

 

And me... I’m married to the Beast.
 

 

 

June 8th - prompt: blur

 

The edges of my reality blur as I gaze into his eyes. In them I see my past, vanquished, and my future, renewed. I see all I could ever yearn for yet never dared to dream.

 

I smile as the words leave my lips, placing my fate with his.

 

"I do."

 

June 9th - prompt: roar

 

The roar of the ocean filled her ears - a serenade of white noise, waves crashing on shore and reaching to touch her toes nestled in the sun-baked sand.

 

If she threw herself among the waves, she wondered if she would float.

 

She stepped into the ocean's grasp.

 

 

June 10th - prompt: inch

 

The cluster of baby dragons were no more than an inch tall, though she knew they would grow bigger. When they looked up at her, they squealed and burped tiny sparks of flame. She would need to find a much larger space to keep them, and more fire resistant.

 

 

 

**

 

give me an inch

I’ll take your smile

run with it through

ten thousand

deserted miles

give me your heart

I’ll take it whole

devour in one gulp

the workings

of your soul

 

 

**

 

June 11th - prompt: paws

 

Paws 🐾 reach for you, claws knead, seeking comfort and stability.

You are a safe harbor for the ship among storm-bashed waters, the stretch of warm sand after decades lost at sea, the sputtered water released from choked lungs.

You are salvation.  

 

**

 

June 12th - prompt: tightly

 

The thread was tightly wound, ready to be unraveled and knit into someone’s creation, formed from personal design and taste, cultivated from a simple ball of thread and an idea, two hands move quickly, deftly find the knots, unwinding the thread only to create anew.  

 

**

 

June 13th - prompt: parts

 

Your world exists in so many moving parts, you may reach to touch the universe but you will never fully grasp it.  

 

**

 

body parts and limbs
stripped for the world’s eyes
this macabre display  

(haiku)

 

**

 

June 14th - prompt: swell

 

Listen to my heart swell
Can you hear the way it
Grows
Whenever
                    you are near  

 

**

 

Zoë flipped the sun visor down to gaze at her reflection in the small slice of mirror.

Sunlight glinted but she could still see a shimmer forming, the swell of black & blue around one brown eye.

She snapped the visor shut. He would never hurt her again, she promised. 

 

** 

 

June 15th - prompt: belly 

 

Grenadine
her belly
full
of rubies  

 

**

 

half-dissected dreams
pilgrimage across
lunar whispers

bellyful of butterflies
pockets full of prose
rise up from the ashes

tonight I reclaim
all you stole
greedy, hungry soul
gaping mouth
steel trap-teeth
dirty blood
visceral

mine. 

 

** 

 

June 16th - prompt: feasts

 

Darkness feasts on the shadowy workings of her mind. An entire buffet of salted self-doubt with a side of light loathing and dessert of rich regret.  

 

**

 

June 17th - prompt: fiery

 

The sun was a fiery ball of light in the sky, something the two sisters had never seen before. It stole their breath as if they had been captured in its flames, draining their oxygen and claiming it for the fire’s own.

 

**

 

Her anger burned fiery, all-consuming and punishing. It gripped her, took control. She saw white then nothing at all. When she blinked her sight beyond the burn, ringing ears told her she had caused another explosion. Smoke curled in the air like a beckoning finger.
💥 

 

** 

 

June 18th - prompt: black 

 

Edges of paper crisped black and curled in the lick of the flames. So simple to destroy and demolish what took years to create. A mountain of books as the fire’s fuel. She wanted to cry out as books popped and shriveled, entire worlds crumbling & consumed in the burn. 

 

**

 

June 19th - prompt: puckering 

 

The girl’s flesh was puckering in an ugly scar, a permanent sneer twisting her abdomen.

“That’s from a C section?!”

The girl nodded. “Emergency. It was a miscarriage after all.” She traced the scar with a finger - a thin line of immense loss - and shivered. 

 

** 

 

June 20th - prompt: brims 

 

The memory brims to the surface, unbidden. It refuses to sink no matter how you try to force it down, it continues to rise like a drowned body in the river that must reveal all its dark and dirty secrets beneath the water’s surface.  

 

**

 

June 21st - prompt: wonder 

 

Their eyes filled with wonder as they looked up at the massive waterfall; the sound rushing down filled their ears.

“It used to be a right of passage for young human men to climb in a barrel and roll down these falls,” said the tour guide.

Their alien eyes widened.  

 

**

 

The captain stood with back turned to her ship, staring out across the starlit, moon-glistening stretch of sea. It filled the cabin boy with wonder how she stood, unmoving, her hair captured by the wind beneath the brim of her hat - a perfect picture of regality.  

 

**

 

June 22nd - prompt: dangles 

 

The future dangles before their eyes, untouched like a flower budding into bloom - secrets yet to unfold, discoveries to be made. And yet the future is stripped from them, plucked like the bud before it is allowed to flourish, before its petals can open to drink the sun.  

 

**

 

June 23rd- prompt: tail 

 

A thin tail swished and flicked around the corner, dashed with golden and brown stripes. The girl followed in hot pursuit but when she turned, the animal was nowhere in sight. A flicker of movement above - the girl froze as the animal swooped down.  

 

*

 

The tail wrapped tightly around her, constricting like a serpent. The more the girl wriggled the tighter it clutched. Her feet left the ground - the animal lifted her. She started to scream and that’s when she saw the other creature out of the corner of her eye... 

 

**

 

June 24th - prompt: nails

 

Long turquoise nails danced across the keyboard, racing as fast as her heart. They pounded deep rhythms, stretching for the finish line, joints aching with that final push...She wove each sentence like a spider weaving its web, creating a new world of words & punctuation. 

 

**

 

June 25th- prompt: shudder

 

A shudder of desire sang through her like a thrill rattling her bones, tingling electricity across skin and vibrating her veins. She burned with it, the heat threatening to consume her unless she released it in a billow of smoke and ashen worship, guttural cries.  

 

**

 

June 26th - prompt: always 

 

The obsidian blade glinted like a secret smile from where it lay across his wrist. The first cut is always the deepest they said. Yet he still hesitated. The audience hushed, expectant, waiting. They wanted his spilled blood. He pressed the blade deep.  

 

**

 

June 27th - prompt: dread 

 

Heavy heart today. Filled with dread. I know in the end it will turn out ok, remaining positive and looking ahead.  

 

** 

 

June 28th - prompt: open 

 

They told her, “open your mind,” so she read a billion books. 📚 They told her, “open your heart,” so she loved a million men. 💋 They told her, “open your legs,” and she killed a hundred heathens. ⚔️

 

**

 

June 29th - prompt: blind

 

He told me, "love is blind" but when I shed my mask, he turned his back and covered his eyes.

“Hideous,” he said.

“I know.” 

 

** 

 

June 30th - prompt: never

 

Once the zombies crawl their way out of their earthy graves and overtake civilization, they will never return to their graves.

**

July 1st - prompt: word

 

If you could shatter someone's world in a single word what would it be?

Hatred. Destructive. Hideous. Bitter.

But also:

Lovely. Awestruck. Dazzling. Succulent.

 

**

July 2nd - prompt: prompt

 

"If you plan to break my heart, make it prompt," Belinda cried, hand over chest. 


He knew it was all an act, stage lights burning down his neck, but when he gazed at her, his heart fluttered. He never meant words more when he spoke his lines. 


“I plan to love you always.” 

 

**

 

July 3rd - prompt: llama 

 

They rode through desert sands and distant lands, aching to reach their destination. They met many who rode camels 🐫 and gazed upon them with wonder & disgust. 


Who would dare attempt to ride a llama? 


I, Llama Queen, said their leader, and my band of misfits. 

 

**

 

July 4th - prompt: purple 

 

Purple fingers stretched across an open expanse of sky, the sun’s final grip before nightfall claimed ownership. Just like the deep purple bruise always faded to black upon her skin, tender to touch & ugly as sin. Nightfall claimed her beauty too. But the sun shone again. 

 

** 

 

July 5th - prompt: dairy

 

Each morning she milks the dairy cows and rubs their bellies, their udders squeeze milk like fresh cream. 🐮 

 

**

 

July 6th - prompt: fandango 

 

When we both arrive in Hell, be sure to save me a fandango dance. 💃🏻 

 

** 

 

July 7th - prompt: bottom 

 

Stroke my stem with
quiet fingers from
top to bottom

Fondle bristling leaves
prick milky skin, drops
of blood against thorns

Full petals blossom,
open to the touch of
warm radiance

Mouthful of roses 🌹
hot steam breath
blows kisses
to the wind 

 

** 

 

July 8th - prompt: squeeze 

 

What does a glass of lemonade say to a bunch of lemons?

"You're my main squeeze."
🍋😂 

 

**

 

July 9th - prompt: nun

 

“Hey sweet cheeks, how’s it going?” the grubby man asked with a sly wink.
She spun around, glared fierce enough to melt the smile off his face.
“If I had to decide between you and becoming a nun, it wouldn’t be a difficult choice,” she said.
He turned away, beet-red. 

 

**

 

July 10th - prompt: chaos

 

Traveling between countries is much like chaos theory-everything you thought you could predict is no longer certain. And yet he still came through the gates ahead of schedule-suitcases in tow, sweat pouring down his face, wearing two jackets. After two years, he arrived. #vss365 

 

**

 

July 11th - prompt: calm

 

The calm before the storm is electricity flickering in her eyes. I feel the charge racing off her skin, live wires that if I brush with fingertips will send me buzzing along with her. Soaring through the night, becoming one with the lightning and thunder. ⚡️ 

 

**

 

July 12th - prompt: punk

 

The rhythm of your heart trembles through your bones. Some days it’s soft violin strings plucked with a gentle finger. Others it’s the hard punk rock of your teenage years, head-banging and heart-trilling drums give way to guitar solos and make your body soar.

#vss365 

 

**

 

July 13th - prompt: lucky

 

one arm wrapped under my head
the other round my middle -
I’ve never felt so lucky as
waking to your beating heart
beneath one ear, breath easing
like an old tune I could get used to
though I won’t -
I promise to forever cherish
these moments of pure pleasure
with you 

 

** 

 

July 14th - prompt: swims 

 

The image of you
swims before me
as your body sank
beneath the waves
I tried to reach out
but you had already
slipped from my grasp
and now I had to
swim ashore,
alone 

 

** 

 

July 15th - prompt: cycle

 

Night is always the worst, when the color drains from your surroundings, when your body completes its cycle, the monthly call of ritual wilderness bringing you back to your making, to the blood and skin - you cry out to the moon more.  

 

** 

 

July 16th - prompt: bare

 

Stripped down
to bare bones,
I am yours,
peel off my skin
and look inside
to discover my
beating heart
trembling for you.
Do you believe me,
now that you have
sliced me open,
taken my bare body
as your own?
I am undone
but still whole
even you cannot
break me 

 

** 

 

July 17th - prompt: bear

 

Night mares move swift
bearing you on sweat-slick
backs, rippling muscles
between thick thighs
carry you through
darklit avenues
of memory
skin like coal
red burning embers
reach to grasp you
in their heat and
prickle like thorns
drops of blood
upon porcelain.  

 

**

 

July 18th - prompt: beard

 

Soft stubble scratches
my chin with each kiss
you haven't shaved in days,
you're growing a beard...
your hair is patchy, grows
in red instead of blonde,
you lean down
press your cheek
to mine.
Contentment
in an unshaven face,
domestic bliss doesn't
get simpler than this 

 

**

 

We were a Tribe of Three before and after the wills of men had any meaning or any hold on us, before beards scratched sensitive skin. Mother and daughters, strong as stone in the face of adversity. Even the tides of time cannot erode the love and power we share.  

 

**

 

July 19th - prompt: bored

 

Sharp eyes bored through the gateways of his mind. Even if he tried to resist they would take what they wanted - his deepest memories stashed behind lock and key. They wouldn't rest until satisfied. Until they owned his very soul.  

 

** 

 

July 20th - prompt: plank

 

Legs trembled as she walked the plank, wooden board quivering. Behind her, tips of the crew's drawn swords glistened in fading light - a thicket of thorns. White undergarments whipped around her legs. She took the final step, and plunged toward the depths of the ocean. 

 

**

 

July 21st - prompt: breeze

 

Learning to sword fight was a breeze for her. She loved the clash of steel, the clatter as they parried. Each step counted - she was quick enough to spin without a blade reaching skin. Fearless. Her eyes flickered fire, a taste for blood hot on her tongue.  

 

** 

 

July 22nd - prompt: bob

 

Her body
bobbed
across slick
surface
of Lover's Lake,
reflections cast
shimmering waves
caressing the girl
as if she still
pulled air
deep into
waterlogged
lungs, limbs
stiff like
a marionette
cut free of
her strings  

 

**

 

July 23rd - prompt: hurlyburly

 

She often missed the hurlyburly of the brothel. It made her feel less alone as she caught the eyes of other working girls, gazing blankly over shoulders. Falsetto shrieks would push against the ceiling. Afterhours, the girls comforted each other in a warm embrace. 

 

**

 

July 24th - prompt: impossible 

 

She clung to the ship's underbelly like an octopus suctioning tentacles. Traveled for miles, borrowing air from sea creatures. She became one with the sea, rose on waves to overtake the ship, ripping it to pieces.
“Impossible,” the crew said.
Calypso in the flesh. 

 

**

 

July 25th - prompt: nose 

 

The nose of Calypso’s ship navigated rough waters, pushing onward despite the tide’s resistance. This was No Man’s Crossing, where fleets were said to disappear. Still they journeyed forward, undeterred. The sea goddess steered them with a gentle hand all the way. 

 

**

 

July 26th - prompt: headstone

 

They traced the name
across her headstone
with salted teardrop
infused fingertips
like a chant or prayer
spoken between lips
dried red with blood
& milky white marble
smudged charcoal
across a lifeline of
crackling palms
fused electricity
& thunderstruck
despair  

 

 *


They traced her name across headstones with salted-teardrop infused fingertips. 

 

 **

 

July 27th - prompt: cheese

 

I am holy like the
most
delicate
cheese -
Eat me whole
then spit me out
skin and bones
undigested.
I already told you
once before,
my womanhood
is a delicacy
you cannot
afford. 

 

**

 

July 28th - prompt: parrot 

 

You only want me
when I perch
upon your shoulder
nibble at your ear
& parrot sweet
nothings, professions
of undying love
whether true or false
doesn’t change
how you stroke
ruffled feathers
feed me crackers
I am nothing more
than clipped wings
& syllables  

 

**

 

July 29th - prompt: flash 

 

I am there
and then
gone again;

Flash -
I do not request
these visions

ticking time bombs
waiting to explode

conjuring images,
drowned bodies
in a lake or
sharks
washed
ashore
🦈

“Leave me in peace”

but they
smell blood
in the water  

 

**

 

July 30th - prompt: Kawasaki 

 

Cherry-red cracked lips
bulbous swollen tongue
melts ice like licks of fire
Inflamed palms
soles of childhood
burn & blister, raw
Bloodshot eyes, veins
plea for release
from pain,
body aflame-
fever dreams,
high temps, all
symptomatic of
Kawasaki -
rare disease 

 

**

 

July 31st - prompt: done

 

I've been living in a world
of blanketed screens
film shrouding like a veil;
how do I tell my body
that we are done now
we can begin to feel again
the whisper of your touch
on bare skin, serene &
pimpled goose flesh
plucked of feathers-
stolen wings
but still
I will soar. 

 

** 

 

August 1st - prompt: pipe

 

Hook me under the
wind pipe and reel in.
I'm your biggest catch,
Tethered to the end of
one long, invisible string
seizing me as
Yours —
bring me home
to fry in a pan,
sizzling butter
pinch of garlic
flavor me to
your Desire 

 

**

 

August 2nd - prompt: hoot

 

Come, join me on the
front porch swing
wooden creak beneath
the weight of us two
together, at last.
Hoots of owls 🦉
in the trees,
a cricket-cicada
serenade;
fireflies the
flickering
candlelight -
every night
spent by your side
a dream come true. 

 

**

 

August 3rd - prompt: obsequious 

 

Last night my bones became brittle
obsequious to your every desire...
I felt them tremble within, a
vibrating skeleton of pearls.
Watch me glimmer for you,
contort into whoever you want
me to be, whatever skeletal shape
I am intended to be in your eyes
nothing but bones 

 

**

 

August 4th - prompt: repeat 

 

When your brain is on
repeat\repeat\repeat
& your heart can’t even
take it off the turnstile
& your breath comes
too fast like steam
fogging up
your path
& again,
it goes:
repeat\repeat\repeat
&you don’t want the
thoughts anymore, but
how can you make them
stop? 

 

**

 

August 5th - prompt: fingers

 

Count on your fingers
all the ways you love me
once you get to ten
I hope it means
you’ll stay 

 

*

 

In the morning I lay
my ear to your chest
& listen —
the thump of your heart
like fingers on a drum
beating, beating

I‘m full of hope
the rhythm speaks
of loving me...

I know it does.

💓🥁 

 

**

 

August 6th - prompt: Saturn

 

Take me by the hand
let’s dance on Saturn’s
rings, kick up stardust
& comets in our wake.
you’ll be my moon
shower me in starlight
call me your goddess
carried through the night-
Wake me in the morning
with gentle kisses
on the head
like a comet’s tail,
fleeting bright. 

 

**

 

August 7th - prompt: flush

 

I'll flush away these dejected rejections. A clean flush, a royal flush, the flush of a toilet swirling in the bowl. What a rush. Now throw me in and pull the flusher, send me down the pipes with the rest of my rejected scraps.  

 

**

 

August 8th - prompt: inglenook

 

Let's snuggle together by the hearth, tucked away in the inglenook of each's others hearts, keep each other's fire burning bright as we gather together to soak in the warmth that our love radiates.  

 

**

 

August 9th - prompt: army

 

Send an army to defeat these shadows before their gaping mouths consume me. Already I have felt the lick of their tongues, tasting my power. Yearning to strip it from me. Submerge under water and still they are there - no escape even in the brightest of lights.  

 

**

 

August 10th/11th - prompt: discombobulated/perky

 

I cannot believe for the first time since beginning two months ago I neglected my #vss365 yesterday. I have been so discombobulated! How ashamed. But have no fear, today I am up and perky as ever! I shall not allow this to happen again.  

 

**

 

August 12th - prompt: amphora

 

Your skin whispers stories - depicts tales of the past the way an amphora tells of heroes, of conquering and the all-consuming need for recognition. Trace fingers across your scars and listen to your pain, but also know you have continued on in the face of all despair.  

 

**

 

August 13th - prompt: mistral 

 

She came upon him like a mistral, blustery and cold as ice. There was no stopping her as she claimed his heart in the deepest chamber of her chest chilled like an igloo, glacial and impassable. 🌬❄️  

 

**

 

August 14th - prompt: blush

 

Your cheeks are a deep blush of rosebud sunsets peeking behind gossamer lace clouds. 

 

**

 

August 15th - prompt: belched 

 

When he belched it was as thick as Hades' hellfire brewing from the Underworld. Steamy and rancid, reeking of decayed souls lamenting their loss from the world of the living.  

 

**

 

August 16th - prompt: stairs

 

She tripped on the stairway to heaven & fell to earth a broken-winged angel 

 

**

 

August 17th - prompt: stare

 

Trapped in your stare, I circle you like a moon to your planet caught in your gravitational pull. 🌚💫☄️  

 

** 

 

August 18th - prompt: capital

 

Carve your capital punishment into my skin and mark me as your own. I will take what I deserve and give what I am asked but why must I be burned for your own sins?  

 

**

 

August 19th - prompt: dunes

 

They rode across dunes of time without pause, sand caked in their mouths and across their skin. Soon they would become one with the landscape of the planet itself. It just might eat them alive, if it hadn't already. There would be no return- not the same as before. 

 

**

 

August 20th - prompt: human 

 

Isn’t it this pain which makes us human? Who would we be - and what would exist - without it?  

 

**

 

August 21st - prompt: titan

 

I would release a thousand Titans just to have the chance to see your face, to feel your soft skin upon fingertips.

Oh, Persephone, when you were lost to the Underworld, I vowed the earth shall never be the same.

Even Hades will feel my wrath.  

 

** 

 

August 22nd - prompt: China

 

Her face a china teacup, chipped and cracked, beautiful in its imperfections, the lines of scars and burns morphing her into a unique portrait, one you yearn to trace your hands across just to feel each bump - explore her skin like typography. 

 

**

 

August 23rd - prompt: nine 

 

The bullet pierced through skin like ripping paper. Nothing could stop the force of the 9mm as it shot forward, destroying life in nothing but a flash.  

 

**

 

August 24th - prompt: internet 

 

Some may argue the internet is a curse upon mankind, others believe it has brought salvation. Stretching to reach and communicate with people far across the ocean. Limitless.  

 

**

 

August 25th - prompt: cathedral 

 

Take me to a cathedral and kneel on your knees. Confess your sins to me so I can possess your secrets. They are mine now, I am yours. Who will we become next in this line of worthy sacrifice? A solid will, or hearts beat as one.  

 

**

 

August 26th - prompt: observe 

 

When you look at me
from a distance, observe
curves of this body, slick skin

I am a lizard, scaled, speckled,
a snake ready to shed,
fangs bared.

Soon I will become new
the way you always wanted;
at your request,
I will be

reborn.  

 

** 

 

August 27th - prompt: obey

 

When we are married
I will not obey as women
were once expected
but will obey my own
passions & ideals
as I know you actually wish
for me and ours and us
happiness & fulfillment 💓 

 

**

 

August 28th - prompt: wolf

 

Yesterday listening to podcasts
about skin walkers who
change form with ease like
slipping on a second skin
becoming anew
dependent on their needs
to breathe the water
to fly through ground
and always ending as
the same ferocious vision:
a large, elegant wolf🐺  

 

**

 

August 29th - prompt: narrow

 

My room is cluttered like my mind
bent, broken, disheveled, narrow
there are no repairs to be had
no tidying up that will make it new
the reek of unwashed clothes remains
piles of books, top-heavy, carelessly
sprawled as if hit by a hurricane  

 

**

 

August 30th - prompt: disappeared

 

Her smile disappeared
for many years, what felt
like eons of sorrow-wrapped
daylight and shadows
coalesced in corners
yet it reappeared like
the sun & moon from
behind dark shrouds-
cumulus nimbus storms
raged but slowly faded
until one day it came easy
like rain 🌧  

 

**

 

August 31st - prompt:

 

 

**

 

September  1st - prompt:

 

 

**

 

 

 

 

 

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