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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. 

**