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Sunday Micro-Fic: “Oracle”

The results of Flash! Friday‘s contest are in and a hearty congratulations to the well-deserved winner Tamara Shoemaker, whose poetic entry “Vain Race” beat out over seventy entries this week.

Picture Prompt comes from the Olympic marathon in Greece 1896:

1896_olympic_marathon

And the bidding was to include: War (as per the anniversary of the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC)

Because the prompt featured three running men, most of the entries featured male runners as the MC. This week, a smattering writers chose to make the runners women (maybe because women can be seen huffing up and down the running trails in equal numbers). The balance was reverse in last week’s prompt, which required a baby, so garnered many more mothers than fathers as MCs. And then, there was the astronaut group that was almost solely male.

Well, since the trend of the first few entries stuck to the picture, I decided to go with a woman as the MC while keeping the three runners the men in the picture prompt.

Here is my “special mention” entry.

Oracle

“Three runners from three different kingdoms,” my daughter says from the balcony. The sun washes her upturned face, her lashes flutter.

“Yes,” I say, pride and regret contend in my breast.

“The middle one counts his strides as stones his little son places on the window ledge. The left, as ebony strands of his lover’s hair.”

It’s her first Telling. Why couldn’t this one fall to me?

“The right”—her smile falters—”in drops of his father’s blood.”

She opens her eyes, grips my hand. Mine is cold in hers. She brings it to her cheek. I remember the toddler who lined up her own stones on the Temple steps. I need to be strong for her, for us.

“I’m ready, Mother.”

Ready to truth-tell? Or ready for what her first audience will do to her when they learn that their war yields no winners.

I watch her descend the stair. Then, I can’t stop the tears.

In war, truth is the first to perish.

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