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Monday Micros: “Fidelity” and “True Skin”

We’re a day late with the micros due to working last night on a flash for Finish That Thought, a Tuesday contest, but since she’s on the east coast, we get the prompts at 9pm Monday–when I would normally post the micros.

Both of my entries for this week’s Flash! Friday contest (for volume 42) managed to squeak into the winner’s circle. My android haiku “Fidelity” got a special mention, and my Japanese selkie-ish tale “True Skin” pulled 3rd runner up (4th place).

The photo prompt came to us from Shuji Moriwaki and made me nostalgic for my years in Japan:

typhoon-maid-thursday-shuji-moriwaki

We also had to include a death.

That picture is so evocative that it inspired over a hundred unique slices of flash. I was only going to write one again, but just had to sneak a haiku in as well.

Fidelity

Pinioned in the sand,

Salt-water crusted servos

Click. Eyelids open.

Azure Lotus 5,

Handcrafted in Sri Lanka,

Blue eyes keep vigil.

From passing ferries,

Tourists snap photos of her

Programmed loyalty.

They titter over

Her parasol parody

Against the tempest.

Bellows softly fold,

Exhale matcha-scented steam.

Internal clock beats.

Taiko thunders drum

Down another night; storm-tossed

Clouds sweep away days.

Titanium rusts

Mechanisms to stasis,

But software persists.

Her maker strove to

Prison her precision core

In a dollied shell,

The quaint satin frock,

His frivolous afterthought.

Click. Her smile locks shut.

Immune was he from

The pain that ever pulses

Through a well-tuned heart.

“Just a day,” he’d said.

She’d waved his ship from shore with

Lubricated care.

Storms don’t break ferries,

Besides the one that broke his

And shipwrecked her here.

On infinite loop,

She executes his last words:

“Wait for me, my dear.”

 ——

“True Skin”

Through wind-lashed rains, Nori’s voice finds her, a reedy flutter against her eardrums.

“Even if you find it, he won’t take you back,” he insists.

Above the jetty, the sky curdles around her longing. Umi lets her gaze slide from the pewter swells to Nori’s shivering spectre. He lifts his chin. Obstinate, even in death.

A wave bursts against stone, washing a satchel into the shoals.

Nori’s embittered cry sends Umi scrambling over the rocks. Within the bag, she finds iridescent mail. Impenetrable and intimate as the pulse of the tide.

Nori was wrong. Storm-scaled, thunder-coiled, her beloved is still there, waiting for her.

As she slides into her shimmering skin, splinters of ice sink into her flesh. Her body elongates around sublimity. She plunges into his serpentine embrace.

Nori calls, “Did you ever love me?”

A surge shatters the breakwater, scattering his essence. Love. As if the human heart could fathom love’s abyss.

Twin serpents entwine across the deep.

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